Every January, February, and April, you’re bombarded with tax forms. Your company sends a W-2 in the mail. Your brokerage account probably sends a 1099-DIV via email. And your accountant asks for receipts, your kid’s social security number, bank account information, and everything in between.
In a past life, and helped companies and individuals navigate complex tax issues. I want to share a few insights I picked up along the way.
Even after you file your taxes, it’s hard to plan for the future. You’re lucky if you file your taxes on time, let alone knowing how to reduce your tax bill. The absolute best way to prepare for your taxes is to be as organized as possible. If you go into the first few months of the year without a system in place, filing taxes might make you feel like Vernon Dursley in Harry Potter: drowning in forms, papers, letters, and numbers.
Solution: A single hub to keep your taxes organized
Organization is the first step in reducing your tax bill. Organization provides you with necessary visibility into important metrics and enables you to make strategic plans with your accountant. And you’ll be prepared to answer questions like:
How much do I actually pay in taxes every year? What is my effective tax rate? How can I pay less taxes? How much should I withhold from my paycheck? Hint: the IRS has a . Many expenses you already incur are tax deductible, including donations to a charity, business expenses, childcare costs, etc. In fact, many of the expenses you already pay for can . Proactively tracking the receipts for those expenses could end up saving you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars per year.
To help you stay organized during tax season, I’ve created the Ultimate Tax Prep Organization Hub: a place for you to track important receipts, forms, files and numbers. Make a copy of the doc, share it with your accountant, and enjoy your new-found sense of tax nirvana when you file your taxes!
Note: Tax information is sensitive, so please be careful to only share this doc with people you trust. Here are a few to help protect your personal information.
Here’s what you’ll find inside
The doc is ready to plug and play — I’ve done a lot of the heavy lifting for you. The best part? You can customize your copy of this doc to include anything you need to track for your taxes. If your accountant asks you to begin tracking something new, just create a new page and type /table — it’s that simple!
Here’s what you’ll find inside this doc:
: Visualize key trends over time, including taxes paid and effective tax rate, and store previous tax returns for easy access. : Track important receipts for deductions, credits, and other transactions. : As tax forms (W-2, 1099, etc.) show up in your mailbox, store them here so they’re easy to find when it’s time to file your taxes. : A safe place to store SSN’s and birthdates for your dependents. : If you own a businesses or make money as a freelancer, you’ll likely need to make estimated payments every quarter. Track those here. : Your tax information is sensitive. Here are a few tips to keep it safe.
Ready to get started? Head to