Organize Your Tax Prep

Here are three tips to making tax preparation easier. Learn these simple tools.

If you're like most people, the only thing fun about tax returns is the thought of a potential refund. If you don't have any systems in place, tax preparation is even more of a chore. Here are three tips for making this task easier.

Receipts you don't need to save: If you itemize your medical expenses, you may be trying to keep track of all those pesky prescription drug receipts. An easier way to deal with prescription receipts is to go to your pharmacy online and print out the current year's prescriptions for each family member. Now you have one less thing to file all year long!

Tracking vehicle mileage: Most people aren't really motivated to write down their mileage every time they travel for a business or charity event. Here are a couple of other options you may find more appealing. I write all of my appointments down on my calendar (Lord knows I'd never be able to keep track of them all if I didn't). At the end of the month, I add up my mileage with the assistance of my calendar and GPS. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to add it up for the month. Another option for technology lovers is downloading a mileage app like milebug to your phone. Milebug is available for iphones and costs $3.99.

Self-purging folders: Most accountants agree you need to save documentation and receipts for seven years in case of an audit. Here's an easy way to stay on top of that. Buy seven identical poly expanding wallets. Using a label maker, label each one for seven years. On the eighth year, pull the label off the first file and shred it's contents. Replace with a new label and paperwork for the current year. Continue the process year after year.

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