2011 Tax filing tips

Now that 2010 income tax season is behind us, let’s make sure that 2011 is a breeze to get done! Here are some tips we put together that we think will help you get ready for next year that you can start NOW!

1. Refer to the return you just filed and see what info you needed to complete it. Then start by making a list of all the items you needed this year to prepare for your taxes.

2. Create a 2011 Tax Center – one place to put all tax related items. We recommend either file folders or an accordion file. Use this as the location for anything that may be helpful in preparing your taxes. Keep your copy of your last tax return with the upcoming year’s files for easy reference.

3. We suggest you use the DYMO 360D desktop label maker to label the file folders or the accordion file tabs with the items you will need to complete your 2011 income tax return. This will include main categories such as Income, Expenditures and Savings/Retirement.

4. Under each category create a check off list that may include such items as W-2’s, 1099’s, Alimony, Child Support, Interest Income, Investments, State Taxes Paid, Retirement, etc. This way as you get ready to prepare the taxes, or meet with a professional, you will have everything you need on hand.

5. For those deductions you are unsure of, create a separate folder and call it ‘In Question.’ This way all your questions are in one place and as you review the directions, or meet with a tax professional, all your questions are in one place.

6. Label at least one file Family Information. Use the hand held DYMO 260P to make the task go quickly. And if there are specific deductions or expenses you want to track by person, make a file folder for each member of the family.

7. For your Charitable Donations file, be sure to have dollar amounts on receipts. If you donate clothing, furniture or other home or personal items, make a list of what the items is as associate a value to each item. Attach the list to the receipt.

Now that you have your Tax center set up with labeled files and you know what information you need – you are all set to have an easy time preparing your 2011 Income Tax Return!

What steps do you take to make sure you have everything you need when you do your taxes?