It’s TAX SEASON! Woo Hoo! Nothing brings more joy to my heart than sitting down surrounded by documents, numbers and figures and rules that govern all of them. (NOT) After just a few weeks of all of these small sessions of number crushing I believe I have reached a point where I can say I am done. I have reviewed each item from beginning to end several times and can find no additional need to add another thing. Yet, I will sit back and wait until just before April 18th to file my taxes. Just for the record I am a TurboTax type of tax filer probably because I find it so much easier to simply take complete control of all of these number rather than trying to dictate them to a tax service who is basically doing the same thing I am doing, filling in data on a computer.
One of the things I do each year is to create folders on my computer and label them accordingly. I have folders for just about everything. Each time I receive a receipt or bill document I scan them with my iPhone with an app called Scanner Pro. It converts my scans into pdf format and sends them to dropbox. I find them in dropbox on my computer and rename them accordingly and drop them into the folders that I created. All of these folders are backed up to the cloud of my outlook account and saved for tax season.
This system of organization started when I decided that I wanted to rid myself of the filing cabinet that always seemed to grow out of control. I spent months scanning each and every important document and shredded anything of little value. After I scanned these documents, renamed them and placed them in folders I shredded them as well.
Through this process I learned the value of scanned and organized documents last year while doing my taxes. I could find just about anything I needed without leaving my desk. Another advantage I found was that if I needed to share a document with someone else like an insurance company I could find and email the document right from my cell phone. My documents are safe and secure on my laptop and backed up to the cloud so I never have to lose any of them because of a fire or flood.
I loved this process so much that soon I was scanning all of my old photographs and saving them too. As pictures are larger files than documents I elected to save them to a 256 gig thumb drive and also backing them up to the cloud of my google account.
This will be another year where I will be sending our Federal Government and State of Oregon additional money to cover the taxes that I am obligated to pay, but I already knew this was going to happen. Rather than send extra money in each paycheck I elect to simply place this amount of money in a savings account. When taxes are due each year I simply transfer the amount I put away into my checking account and pay my taxes.
This is my answer to simplification of TAX SEASON. Yea I know, it’s a lot of work but it actually becomes easier the more you do it. As I collect receipts from purchases or documents that come in the mail I place them in a folder. Every Saturday morning I spend a little time scanning, renaming and saving them. Many of my accounts I have elected to go paperless and have the ability to download the pdf file right from the source. This too makes life a little easier.