All the tax return related documents you receive every year can be overwhelming and confusing.

After all there are Form W-2’s, 1099’s, gain/loss schedules, local tax forms, Schedule K-1’s, additional 1099’s, rental summaries, charitable giving letters – the list goes on and on! Here are some thoughts on trying to ease the confusion of what to do with them and a simple strategy to keep them organized.

First, grab a simple folder and write “[Current year] Taxes” on it. As each relevant item of tax consequence is received, just put it in there. As you work through your other personal records, put copies of your summaries inside this folder. Keep all relevant tax stuff together. If you have specific questions, jot them down and send along to us.

Second, wait until you are confident that you have all the documents on hand before turning your information over to us. Send us your original documents in the mail or hand deliver… we will scan all relevant documents into a single bookmarked digital file that you can retain with copies of your returns. A single delivery avoids confusion for both of us.

Finally, know that if we have done careful planning throughout the year, this tax return is merely a reporting of all the things we have reviewed and planned for – you should have no surprises when you get your returns back for signature.