November 2013 - Amy Northard, CPA - The Accountant for Creatives

How to organize your tax docs

Posted by | Tax Tips | 2 Comments

How to organize tax documentsDo you have an area on your desk or in your office where you just toss receipts and any business-related documents? I know I’m guilty of it occasionally. Today, I’m going to share with you the method I’ve found successful as both an accountant and a small business owner.

I’m a sucker for pretty things, and my filing system is no exception. I made calligraphy (font, not handwritten!) labels to stick on envelopes that would fit 8.5″ x 11″ paper. Every month, I stick my receipts, bank statements, PayPal statements, cancelled checks, etc. in the envelope.

Now you need to do something with the documents you’ve collected through the month. Set up a recurring date with yourself to spend an hour, or a couple hours recording your transactions on Excel, Quickbooks, or whatever you use to do your bookkeeping. You can skip this step if you’ve hired a bookkeeper that takes care of this for you.

Once the year is over, you’ve sent in your tax return, and you’re ready to shred, shred, shred – DON’T!  Hang onto everything for at least three years or longer.

To download the labels I used, click here for a PDF that is made for Avery 8161 labels (20 per sheet).

If you’ve got a different method that works for you, I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a note in the comments 🙂

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