Create an Easy Tax & Bill Filing System!

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, we spend one year of our lives looking for lost items: documents, keys and tools are the big ones. Rick Woods, Professional Organizer from The Functional Organizer, showed us how to make a tax and bill filing system.

How To Create An Easy Tax File System

Supplies:
Portable File Caddy or Standard Filing Drawer
Red Hanging Files (Qty 10)
Green Hanging File (Qty 1)
A pen for labeling or use a Labeler

Directions:
Label each Red Hanging File Tab with a pen or labeler, “Taxes 20XX” for last 7 years and next 3 years.

Keep last 7 years of Taxes for your records. All Tax records will be in this file system. When the current tax return is accepted and approved, the oldest tax file can be shredded. Please consult your tax advisor as some states have rules concerning tax archives.

When current tax return is complete, accepted and approved, move that file to back of file system.

The green hanging file acts as a divider only. It divides the past tax seasons with the future and current tax seasons. It can be used to store these instructions.

Start filing any donation receipts and tax documents immediately, so they will be there when you file your taxes the following year. This system works 365 days, so when you drop off a donation or make a charity contribution, this receipt should be filed in the current years tax file.

As you start receiving your W-2’s, 1099’s, real estate tax stubs, computer tax program or financial advisor contact information, file those documents as well. Now, when it comes time to prepare you taxes, you’ll be ready to begin, with all your tax records and history in one place.

How To Create An Easy Bill Paying System

Supplies:
Portable File Caddy or Standard Filing Drawer
Blue Hanging Files (Qty 12)
Yellow Hanging Files (Qty 12)
Green Hanging File (Qty 1)
A pen for labeling or use a Labeler

Directions:
Check book, pen, stamps, highlighter, 8 ½ x 11 paper, paper clips, sticky notes and envelope slicer

Label each Blue Hanging File tab with pen or labeler JAN, FEB, MAR…for all 12 months of the year.

Label each Yellow Hanging File tab with pen or labeler JAN PAID, FEB PAID, MAR PAID…for all 12 months of the year.

Make current month your first month in front of file system. As you receive bills in the mail, slice envelope, open bill, highlight due date and amount due or balance. Then place it in the appropriate monthly blue hanging file.

If you receive some e-bills, write down name of bill, due date, and amount due or balance. Then place it in the appropriate monthly blue hanging file as a reminder to pay bill online. Spare 8 ½ x 11 paper is stored in the green hanging file in back of system.

As each bill gets paid for current month, move it to the monthly yellow hanging file as “PAID”.

Once all bills for the current month have been paid, move both folders to the back of the file system.

At the start of each new month, review the contents in the yellow hanging file marked “PAID”. If last years bills have all been confirmed then you can shred them. Please consult your tax advisor for their professional opinion.

theft or take advantage of shredding events at your local shopping center or big box stationary store.

How Long Should I Keep It?
(Always Consult with Financial Advisor)

Monthly
ATM Slips
Catalogs & Magazines
Most Bills (upon paid verification)

Annually
Credit Card Statements & some Bills (upon paid verification)
Dividend Payment Records
Pay Stubs (upon W-2 verification)

6 Years
Tax Records (Consult with Financial Advisor)
Investment Sales Records

Life of Policy
Insurance (Life, Home, Auto)

Life of Vehicle
Auto repair records

Life of Home/Property
Home Improvement records
Mortgage or Loan Discharge
Property Bill of Purchase

Permanently
Health Records
Vital Records & Documents
Birth Certificates
Medical Records
Wills, Trusts, Estate Plans

blog comments powered by Disqus