As the years have gone by, I have learned not to be so proud of my self-appointed nickname as the No. 1 Tax Procrastinator. I have become more aware that no one can organize my tax stuff for me. Whether you do your own taxes or pass them on to an accountant, it still makes life easier to have those records in order.

I've used Turbo Tax software for the last three years and have been very pleased with the time spent using it. I've used other software but it hasn't covered as much or been as user-friendly as Turbo Tax. You still must know the totals of each category even though software makes it easy just to fill in the blanks. Be prepared to set a minimum of two hours aside for fill -ing in forms and reading tax guidelines.

Since I have my own business, these are the categories I keep in my file drawer under My Business:
Purchase Receipts
Credit-card Statements
Paycheck Stubs
Cell phone Bill

Of course you could go much more in depth but this is what works for me. I need this system to be simple, so I'll follow through with filing rather than piling. I don't want to go into what I call * brain lock * by being overwhelmed with too many choices. I find when a system gets more than five categories, there is a temptation to skip sorting and shove everything in one pocket. That makes more work for me in the long run.

The second file folder I keep says TAXES. It includes:
W-2 forms
Interest payments.
Interest statements.
Current home insurance bill.
Real estate tax bills.
Mortgage statement.

You may keep more types of receipts if you choose to use the Schedule A tax form. Whether you useTurbo Tax or another tax program, be sure and check for updates before processing the return in full. Most programs will have a pop-up box asking if you want to check for current updates.

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Author's Bio: 

Nita Jackson
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