By Craig Donofrio
NEW YORK (MoneyTalksNews)—Tax time might be out of sight once again, but it shouldn’t be out of mind. There are ways you can — and should — be prepping for next year’s round.
In the video below Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has some tips on how to prepare for next year’s tax season right now. Check it out, then read on for more ways to prepare and save some money to boot.
Now that you have this year’s taxes out of the way, it’s time to get a jump on April 15, 2014.
1. Keep personal information organized.
Were you scrambling to find your kid’s Social Security number? Did you forget your spouse’s birth date? Tracking down this information just adds more time to an already time-consuming process. Pick a safe spot to store all the info you need. Consider a fireproof and waterproof safe like a SentrySafe for $39.97 at Amazon, which is also large enough to store important letter-sized documents.
- Last year’s taxes. You’re going to want this year’s tax returns to use as a guide for next year’s, so keep them in a secure spot. If your life doesn’t undergo major changes this year, filing taxes will be a breeze.
- Personal data. Keep a list of important information like Social Security numbers and birth dates for you and your family.
- Receipts. Start a receipt folder to store anything you might be able to deduct at the end of the year, such as home improvement purchases or business supplies.
2. Go digital.
If you’d rather go paperless, there are apps for that like DocVault. It lets you save 3GB worth of encrypted pictures and tax-related material like receipts and invoices, and allows you to add notes and tags to the photos for easy organization on DocVault’s servers. Come tax time, you have the option of transferring those images directly to filing services TaxAct Deluxe or TaxAct Preparer’s Enterprise, but you’ll have to pay for them first.