Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Organizing Tax Papers

Can you believe it’s already April? And for Americans, this is the month of the dreaded income tax return. Each year when I make our calendar, I add a skull-and-crossbones to April 15. My dad always got a kick out of this.

Calendar graphic purchased from The Vintage Workshop; text added by me.

Many years ago, the HP Activity Center offered free checklists, file and envelope labels for you to organize your taxes. I downloaded the materials and used them to help us with our own tax papers. Now they don’t offer the labels, but you can make them yourself with plain or pretty labels. HP does still offer a tax preparation checklist.

These are our tax working files. When tax preparation time rolls around, like now, I pull the papers I’ve filed. The file folders are used again for the next year’s information.

When the taxes are done, I place a copy of the forms we’ve mailed in white catalog-sized envelopes and place that year’s label on the envelope. I mailed our state and federal filings off last week.

The envelopes are then filed in chronological order in our tax file drawer. Should there be an audit or some reason to return to a particular year’s tax filling, I have everything in the envelope (including all substantiating documents).


Kristie said...

Beautiful. I do one folder, and sort it out when I sit down with TurboTax. I've already got the state refund back, but I owe the feds, so that'll get mailed April 14.

Inspired Tokens said...

Wonderful ideas...and I love the beauty of the files. Perhaps it makes filing taxes just a little easier. ...quote from Linus 'note to IRS take me off your mailing list!'

dottycookie said...

Oh my - you've just brought back some hideous memories. I spent 5 very happy years in the US in the 90s, but tax time was always a challenge! Many of us don't have to file our own returns in the UK ... I'm sure your system will help though!

Pat said...

I'm lucky. My husband has his degree in accounting and does our taxes, and helps others do their taxes, as a "hobby" He loves to do them! He uses a computer program and files electronically -- no papers to fill in, and he has refunds deposited into checking accounts.

Unfortunately no refund for us this year -- it's a skull and crossbones day for us too!

Hugs, Pat

Storybook Woods said...

My god woman, you are so organized !!!!!!! oxoxox Clarice

African Kelli said...

Um, so basically you even make taxes organized and pretty?

Abiding said...

Wow. I am truly impressed. Seriously. You have turned taxes into something cute and coordinated. That is True Giftedness of the likes I will never know.
Leslie...who lives a tax free life (well, not really...but other people work on Leslie's taxes while she lives an illusion or is it delusion? Hmm...).

Lisa said...

This must be an April Fool's ~ talking about taxes at a time like this! It's spring, the birds are on the wing, the tulips are blooming... Don't bring up (gack.gack.)taxes! But, seriously, yours are the prettiest tax files I've ever seen. My husband, a former cpa, would love them!

Anonymous said...

Speaking from experience, you are a bookkeepers dream so your accountant must truely LOVE xxxx you. (Oops don't want to start rumours)

a pink-bee said...

What a great idea for organizing the tax stuff ~ thanks :)

MaddyLane Designs said...

Hi Junie...you even make income tax time look good...awesome..Bravo!
Beautiful work!..the nicest taxes I have ever seen...Cheers, Maddylane

kim said...

I need you to come help make me organized in the pretty way you are!!!!!!