Photo of Vicki Norris

Vicki Norris

Professional Organization Expert

Tax Paper Organizing

Featured On:

  • HGTV
  • Good Housekeeping
“In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Tax time is stressful enough without the added anxiety that comes with having disorganized paperwork. Are you one of those people who tell themselves, “I’m serious. I’m really going to get organized about my taxes this year,” only to scramble and rush through the job three days before the deadline year after year? Do you have to dig for your shoebox of receipts or file another embarrassing extension? Believe me, you are not alone! Many, many people struggle with paper management issues, especially financial ones.

When it comes to tax-related paperwork, a large part of the problem is that we wait until a certain time (usually February or March) to actually start thinking about it. This delayed action backs us into a corner with a fast-approaching deadline. What could have been an ongoing habit throughout the year now becomes an archeological dig!

Rather than thinking of “tax time” in the literal sense, adapt your definition and consider it as an ongoing process that happens all year long. Set up a workable system for your financial paperwork – even one as simple as designating an accordion file for collecting all tax-related papers. Establishing a system that works for you will require an initial investment of time and consideration but it will pay great dividends when you are ready to file instead of scrambling. Your system will be larger and more complex if you own a business and more straightforward if you file individually. Think about your needs and lifestyle as well as your basic habits to determine a feasible solution. Once that preliminary work has been done, it’s all about maintenance and using your system.

Organizing your annual financial paperwork on a regular basis will keep you sane all year long. And no longer will you fear when the “tax man cometh.”

Best Tax Paper Organizing by Vicki Norris

The Best You Can Get

  • Intuit - QuickBooks Accounting Pro Edition 2008

    Vicki says: Ease some of the burden at tax time. When your finances are under control, life just feels a little bit smoother. Use QuickBooks software for your small business accounting needs and eliminate the scramble that inevitably happens before the April deadline. QuickBooks allows you to track time and billing as well as products and inventory. When your financial records are in line all year long, you’ll be able to spend less time “on” the business and more time “in” the business.

    • Quickly and easily complete tasks like payroll and invoicing
    • Easy-to-use
  • Buttoned Up – Tax Filer

    Vicki says: Impress your accountant this year by keeping your tax records organized all year long. This practical (and colorful!) tax filer from Buttoned Up provides a spot to keep your charitable contributions, income statements, and investment documents so that when tax time rolls around, there’s no need for the usual panic. You’ll be prepared and way ahead of the game.

    • Simple and straightforward
    • Accordion-style organizer
  • Homefile - Financial Planning Organizer Kit

    Vicki says: If you have a difficult time categorizing your financial paperwork, give yourself a break with the Homefile organizer kit. Once you’ve set up your personalized system (don’t worry, it walks you through the set up process), simply insert papers as they arrive and you’ll eliminate your ‘to file’ pile. With 22 pre-determined categories that cover a wide range of financial topics, it may even feel like your papers start to organize themselves!

    • Includes 22 category cards, user index, and 48-page handbook
    • Customizable and easy-to-use
    • File away your receipts, tax deductions, and yearly financials
  • See Jane Work - Office Basics Financial Organizer

    Vicki says: Become a financial manager… of your own paper! Look stylish while controlling your yearly receipts, expenses, reimbursements, and other important records with this tasteful portfolio. With individual pockets for income documents, itemized deductions, and your yearly tax return, this small investment will provide a big payoff come tax time!

    • Heavy-duty cover with Velcro closure
    • January – December monthly pockets
    • Beautiful cover design
  • Captio - TaxCase

    Vicki says: Change your outlook on tax season by establishing a system that works for you. When all of your tax-related information and paperwork can be organized and stored in one place, the chances of misplacing or losing important documents are drastically reduced. A helpful tax case like this one is a simple solution to an often overwhelming project for many people. When you’re this together, your friends might start asking you for tax time help!

    • Easy and convenient to use
    • Comes with pre-printed labels
    • Includes forms, worksheets, and handy tips

You will be happy with any of these

  • TurboTax - Deluxe Federal and State Tax Software

    Vicki says: Almost like having a hand to hold throughout the process! TurboTax software, compatible for both PC and Mac, helps you maximize your deductions while minimizing headaches. In easy-to-follow, step-by-step fashion, TurboTax takes you through your tax return and fills out the forms for you. If you’re a homeowner, have childcare or significant medical or educational expenses, or have a large number of deductions, the Deluxe version is made for you!

    • Choose the best solution for your needs
    • User-friendly software
    • Double-checks your return for errors
  • Office Depot – Recycled Storage Boxes

    Vicki says: Upgrade that old shoebox of receipts! Gather and organize all of your financial records for the year in an economical storage box like this one. Use hanging files and file folders, just as you would with a file drawer, to capture and sort your tax paperwork during the year. After you’ve filed your return, remove the papers that aren’t required to be kept - instantly, you’ve created your own long-term archival storage system!

    • Holds letter or legal-sized files
    • Sturdy enough to stack
    • Easy to construct
  • Miles Kimball – Tax Organizer

    Vicki says: Don’t let the IRS stand for I’m Really Scared! Get to know your financial paperwork by tracking and organizing it in this Miles Kimball portfolio and you’ll avoid any nasty surprises come filing time. With room to record your income, expenses, charitable donations and receipts, it’s a practical way to file your taxes in record time. It might just be the best investment you ever make!

    • Great to use as a reference for subsequent years
    • Spiral-bound booklet includes 13 pockets
  • Storables – Large Expandable File Folder

    Vicki says: Create your own personalized financial filing system and when the tax man cometh, you won’t have to run and hideth! This expanding file with brightly colored tabbed dividers has ample room for sorting and keeping all of your tax-related paperwork. And because it’s easily portable, you can catch up on your filing in any room.

    • Holds letter-sized files
    • Expands into 13 individual pockets
  • The Container Store – Expanding Receipt File

    Vicki says: Are receipts your downfall? They are for many people because they tend to get stuck at the bottom of purses, in glove compartments, or in jacket pockets for lack of a better place. Well here’s your better place! The convenient size of this receipt file travels easily in a purse, car, or briefcase and allows for easy collection. If you tend to amass a large volume of receipts, you may want to use one file per month.

    • Includes A-Z and monthly tabs
    • 13 slots to categorize your receipts
    • Available in white, sky blue, or black

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