messy desk and computer

You are probably wrapping up filing your taxes for 2018. If you are, how did it go this year? Was it quick and easy, everything organized and tidy? Or was it an absolute nightmare of scraps of paper, incomplete records and missed deductions?

Maybe you’re still stuck in procrastination mode (like us…) and dreading even attempting to begin your taxes for 2018. Hopefully not, but hey, you’ve still got a couple weeks.

If you have it all in hand, this post isn’t for you. But if you are feeling that tax season stress and hoping that next year goes a little bit more smoothly, then you’re in the right place.

Here are a few tips on how to get and STAY organized for tax time next year:

1. Wrangle your receipts

I know. Paper is so, like, 1998. More like 100 B.C actually, but that’s beside the point. Who wants to save a bunch of paper receipts in 2019? Not us, certainly. So, there is an app for that.

Shoeboxed is an amazing app that does all the things that you need it to do, like:

  • Scan in your receipts
  • Organize and categorize your receipts
  • Create expense reports
  • Integrate with Quickbooks
  • Track mileage
  • And a lot more

2. Keep track of digital purchases

If you’re anything like us, you buy everything online. It can be really hard to keep track of all of the passwords and purchases sometimes. Well, with Dashlane you don’t have to.

Dashlane is a digital wallet that keeps track of all of your passwords, enables you to checkout securely on any website anywhere, and then allows you to see all of your digital purchases in one place. If you spend nearly as much time online shopping as we do, this should save you quite a bit of time.

3. Mark those miles

It can be quite a pain to get to the end of the year and realize that you didn’t take good notes about the miles you drove for work in your personal vehicle. This can cost you thousands of dollars in deductions if you do a lot of driving. Make that mistake once, and you’ll never want to make it again. Thankfully you don’t have to, because there’s MileIQ.

MileIQ tracks your mileage for you easily and automatically, and best of all, it’s free (with premium options costing about $5 per month). What’s not to love?

4. Don’t use cash

There’s no neat app to go with this one, and no cute story. But it can be really helpful at tax time if you’ve avoided paying for anything in cash. At least for anything business-related. Using cards helps you keep track of purchases more easily and you can find those records if you ever (!!!) get audited.

5. Look to last years taxes

This can help you make a list of what you needed last year (and maybe didn’t have) so that you can keep track of it for last year. There is a fantastic website called Tax Act that has lists like this prepared for you so that you can print them out and keep them handy. This way you won’t lose track over the course of the year, and won’t be scrambling come April.

Here’s to less stress, a more organized 2019, and a bigger tax refund in 2020!

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