Hopefully, by now your taxes are done. You’ve been through your files locating all pertinent information and now is a good time to clear out any left over paper clutter. Eighty percent of the paper that gets filed is never looked at again. Go through each file folder and weed out those papers you no longer need. For a list of what to keep for tax purposes and for time limits, go to www.irs.gov.
The information you used for your taxes should be labeled and kept in a separate place with the previous tax years’ information. Were your files specific enough to make locating tax information quick and painless? If not, add more file folders within hanging file folder categories. Label clearly (Label makers are great for this) and place all hanging file folder tabs on one side. Be sure the tabs are attached to the front of the hanging folder so that when you pull it towards you, the file you need opens up. Whether you file current things in front of the file or at the back is up to you.
Files can also be helpful for holding warranty information, personal hobby information, club information and project information. Those files you use weekly (ex. bill statements, pay stubs etc.) should be within arm’s reach of your desk, those used less often can be in other parts of the room. Tax information can be stored elsewhere as long as it is protected from damage. Take action and make next year’s tax process easier with effective files.