Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers


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Maintain a Good Filing System and Reduce Paperwork

I use to have a shredder but it died on me about a month ago. This is exactly what I needed! We just moved and the amount of paper has been so overwhelming. It will make organizing our new space so much easier by being able to scan all these endless documents. Thank you so much for putting together all this! I am excited to use this Adobe Scan app! I used to have scan app on my phone but this one looks so much better! This post came at the absolute perfect time.

Thank you so much for all these tips! I needed this. So cool!! I downloaded the app, and maybe the will be my New Years resolution! This is enormously helpful! I have a different scanning app, but the Adobe one looks a lot more useful. I just downloaded the app. I am so excited about this! I have quite a bit of paper clutter and I am not the best at organizing it. I am looking forward to using this app to organize it all better.

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Thanks so much for sharing!!! Thank you so much for this post! I was going through the review for the fire safe box and one of the reviews say that all their important documents were destroyed as the box is fire safe but not water safe! Just letting you know. Just wow! I aspire to be more organized like this! I have always wanted a fire box and just never realized how affordable it can be! I love the idea of shredding and letting the kids jump in and help too!

Thank you for the time you took to tell us all about this! I have struggled knowing what I want for Christmas this year and I think I now know!! OMG this was life changing. Thank you so much for this idea! Thanks for the great info. And the inspo to finally make this off my to do list! Thank you so much for this blog post. What a helpful, well thought out post. And you did a lot to help us figure things out. My paper clutter is outrageous. All the paper stresses me. Oh my gosh, this is such a great idea! With 4 boys and a tiny house, I feel like I always have piles of papers for one thing or another.

Thanks so much for the tips!! This was such a helpful post! I recently moved into an rv full time and desperately needed to find a way to organize our paper files in such a small space. Running to download this app now! This is such an amazing idea! Which lead me to getting organized with all my other papers. You never realize how much extra stuff you hold on to until you go back through everything!!!! Brooke, this is genius! Could not have come at a better time. Such a practical post, thank you.


  1. An Alpha-1 COPD Love Story;
  2. Why You Should Declutter Your Life.
  3. A simple filing system can help you get the most from filing your taxes.?
  4. Create A Personal Tax Organizer System & Organize Receipts Challenge.

Can you suggest a way to organize gift cards and certificates so we actually use them? I really appreciate this post because has been the year of simplifying our home. Going to download the app! Paper clutter is one of my biggest organizational struggles and this was so helpful! These are great tips. I currently have a mish mash of paper vs digital, but the paper is overwhelming and taking over my desk and piling up. What a great idea to use adobe scan to stay organized.

Definitely inspired me to take on the paperwork in the house. Downloaded the app and that fire proof file box is on the purchase list. This app is a game changer. I lost everything in the flood , here in Louisiana. Thank you so much for sharing! Thank you so very much. It is kinda odd how helpful this was!! Such a great system. I try to and hope to be more organnized. We love in an older small home, 3 children who bring home SO. I downloaded the app, and plan to gift the fire safe box to my husband for Christmas! Huge thanks, from Georgia!!

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This article was so user friendly and super helpful! We are starting a family in March which means the number of important documents we have accumulated in preparation is insurmountable! Definitely lookin g into the app and the fire box! I just needed a little nudge ;. Thanks for this post — I am constantly buried under stacks of papers on my kitchen counters! This app is the perfect solution and I am adding the safe and shredder to my Christmas list!

All of the paper we have makes me crazy. Thank you for all of this good and useful info!! Thumbs up on this post! The Adobe app is a great find and will soon save me from drowning in paper piles and tax prep clutter! This is a super helpful blog post. Will use it as a reference guide for years to come! Thanks for sharing such helpful tips and tricks, Brooke! Of all the possible clutter ….

This was the most comprehensive post I have read on organizing paper. I am going to take your advice and start with the app! I am actually excited to get this done …you have inspired me. Looking forward to a paperless ! Thank you SO much for sharing this! I am super excited to try this app out! This information is SO helpful!! I just downloaded the app and am looking forward to a more organized household in Last year we had to evacuate for a hurricane and I spent so much time looking for my important papers to take with us.

Thank you for sharing! I downloaded the app and can wait to get started using it and getting rid of the paper chaos!! I love everything you share!! Thanks again!!! I loved everything about this! And following the Art books too! So much easier than my scanner. I also have my papers in a plastic bin. And I was trying to duct tape them closed. It was stressful. We did have some roof damage and water leaked in. I need to get that file box and shredder. We recently moved and downsized. They are also scattered throughout the house.

Excited to incorporate your awesome tips and the scan app! I am so excited to declutter!! I have been meaning to do this. This is so helpful. Oh my gosh that was so awesome! Thank you so much for such fantastic and simple ways to remove paper clutter!! Just downloaded the app and love love love your ideas for going paperless and organizing my paper clutter. But THIS!! I just went thru and threw a huge stack in the recycling. It drives me crazy! Also…go Jags! We went to high school together! Oh my gosh I did download the app!

I want to be organized and clutter free. I Thank you so much for sharing. This was a great and informative post. I downloaded the app earlier and have been playing around with it. Thank you again for this post. That App is a lifesaver! I can finally get rid of all the random pictures in my phone and have them in one place! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas! This will certainly help me get rid of all the papers once and for all! Would love to hear if you have any tips on stopping junk mail? Thanks for sharing and for the research regarding what originals are necessary to keep.

What great nuggets of wisdom on keeping organized. Funny how He always makes sure you get the right guidance just when you need it. So good! So many practical ideas!! This makes me feel like I can actually make the swap to paperless — it has always felt so daunting. Where have you been my whole life Brooke! You are amazing!

The amount of brookeness I have in my home from meals, to decor to organization is unreal! Thanks for sharing your little tidbits and making all of our lives better! I have a lot of papers and kids artwork to go through. Thank you for this tip. This was so helpful! I am reorganizing my office over the Christmas break. Getting ready for the new year! Kind of overwhelmed though as I have boxes full of kids stuff, etc.

Wish me luck! Great ideas! We live in a small house with minimal storage space as well and keeping the paper clutter under control is an ongoing struggle. This will literally change how we live! I HATE paper clutter but have never known how to deal with it or how to stay organized with it all. I immediately downloaded the app and got started!

And Merry Christmas! This helped me in so many ways. So when I finally get the mail I end up with a huge pile up of paper, like lots lots and lots of paper which gives me more anxiety. I just downloaded the app and I will start really soon to get to scanning what I need and definitely need a fire and water safe file box so I can put important stuff in there. I love how you listed everything to make it easier to getting organized.

I really appreciate you taking the time and sharing. Oh Debbie! That makes me sad that it overwhelms you so much with the mail. I really hope this post was helpful for you!! Super helpful post. Loved all of it. Downloaded the Adobe scan App. Thank you. This app sounds like a lifesaver — we live in a sq foot home so I try to keep paper clutter to a minimum. I do have a question though, how secure is it to scan information to the app?

Are the scanned documents uploaded to the app or to my phone? Thanks for all the great tips! This was such a godsend. I have a serious paper problem. I save every receipt and pretty much anything I think I will need again. I downloaded the app right away. I am so thankful for you!

Changing my life in more ways than one. You inspire me. Just downloaded the app! Thank you so much for this great information. So excited about this app!! I feel like I am constantly battling paper clutter! The hubs and I were literally just talking about gett in ng organized this evening! Thank you for the inspiration! I hate clutter and end up throwing so much out in recycle or shred and wish I had seen this before!

Thanks for sharing more than home decor! So happy to find this app! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this to share! I have needed to tackle our paper monster for so long 9 of us and I have felt overwhelmed to the point of paralysis. This is super helpful. I also plan to show it to my 4 young adult kids. Thanks for sharing!!!! You have inspired me to tackle my paper clutter. As usual, you hit this right on the head! Thanks for the great post, you rock! This Adobe Scan looks like a fabulous idea.

It would be great to copy everything you scan onto a thumb drive, then make duplicates. Totally enjoyed your post and found it so helpful!! Anything to declutter in !! Been doing house projects all of trying to finish up and simplifying life and home has been one of my priorities. This will help with the paper side of that- I just downloaded the app and look forward to starting to utilize it especially with how you showed the home decor inspo part where I can keep that all together!!! Thanks so much for the post—I need to get a fireproof safe!

I am almost 50 years old and have never owned one thank God I never lost anything important but with me and hubs getting older it is a great idea for the adult kids to know exactly where all the important papers are in case something happens!! Thanks again and thanks for all you do, I get so much inspiration from your blog and instagram and watch your stories daily!!

Downloaded the app before I even finishing your post! From birth certificates to bills, I never know what to keep and where to put it in our small space. So the second I saw you could digitalize it all, I downloaded right away! This has been so eye opening and I appreciate you SO much for sharing something that I will use for the rest of my years! Brooke, you came along and inspired me to clean out any clutter. After 1 week, I have two bin bags full of clothes ready for the charity Rag Bag and can you believe it…. I have two bin bags full of papers!!! I knew I had to get round to all of that stuff soon but kept putting it off.

Love the idea of this app and cannot wait to give it a try. This will save so much time for us. This is hands down one of the most useful blog posts I have ever ready anywhere! Paper clutter stresses me out and I think this app will be a game changer. And thank you for doing all that research on how long to keep everything! This is so timely! My daughter is in the middle of organizing her paper clutter in her room and this app will help A LOT!!

Now I need to get a fire safe box. I will be freeing up an entire closet that is devoted to my filing cabinets. So excited to go digital and get my closet back. I have been purging my zillions of piles of paper shuffling from pile to pile. I am inspired to use your tips to finally finish and get my kitchen table back!

Downloaded it immediately! We are also in the process of purchasing a CrossFit affiliate, so I need allllll the organization I can get to balance the incoming paper with four kids! Thank you so much for the tips! I will definitely be downloading this app! Thanks for sharing this app! Thanks for sharing this information! One question, does it get stored on your phone or in the cloud? Here is all I need in one place with someone I trust to get it right. Adobe App- where have you been all my life? Thank you for all the work you put into this, saving me days of frustration and empowering me to tackle that filing cabinet.

I have already downloaded the app! My husband and I live with our two small children in a teeny apartment. Probably about square feet. The paper clutter is beginning to overwhelm me. After tax returns come in, we will definitely be investing in the fire box and shredder. Thanks so much for sharing information and tips like these! Thank you for the videos! I am going to read through the post and bookmark it to reference later.

This really does help me! I am going to start scanning everything! And I am def getting a fireproof box! My important papers are in a binder at the moment. This post was the best! Merry Christmas! This post could not have been written and posted at a better time for me.

Thank you, thank you!! I am so excited about this Adobe scan ap!!! Thank so much for sharing. I am a caregiver to my father He has health concerns so when ever I go anywhere I have the folder with my POA, healthcare powers of Attornery and other papers in a binder I keep close. I can just email them directly from my phone if needed. You are kidding me. Thank you , thank you!! Love this idea! My husband has been urging me to get a fireproof safe for forever!

Thank you for the list of papers, it makes it so much easier! This is such a good idea! Just got a house and papers are definitely starting to pile up. Thank you so much for this great blog. Very helpful guide! I do try to file away everything from the previous year to eliminate some of it so I have a smaller box dedicated to each year for tax purposes.

What if you have one source that just sends you a TON of mail? Ahhhh that is so annoying! I would call them and ask them to stop mailing things! You can always go to them and get the hard copy if you need it. I would for sure make sure you have their immunization records. Because if that doctors office closes which happened to me it is near impossible to get! So much useful information! It will take me a while, but a good project for I have all of the usual papers a family of five can have, but also bins and bins, and more bins, of papers for my son who has special needs.

We have meetings all year long, in which we receive behavior plans, IEP papers, notes, meeting minutes, not to mention his work to track progress and medical papers. I keep them, but know if I needed to, I could not quickly reference things as is! I just had a conversation with my friend this week about paper clutter. We recently moved into a home that we are renovating- between that and daily life, I have an daunting pile to go through. I when been so overwhelmed at the thought of tackling this and really appreciate the information in your post!

I downloaded the Adobe Scan app and feel ready to tackle it! Downloaded the app and already attacked that stack of magazine clippings full of home inspiration pics! Love all the practical stuff you share! In real life, I think we could be super good friends. Nothing is more motivating to me than a quick paint project or redecorating a spot in my house.

Now with more ideas in one spot… this can happen more! Great information! I have boxes of paper in my room that I vowed to organize after the holidays. I really struggle with getting rid of things do this might do the trick. This is already changing my life!!!!!!!! I was terrible with papers…because I purge them…to a flaw and often wish I had kept something!

I have shared with friends and my husband…and of course downloaded the app! Downloading the adobe app now! This came at such a good time. I keep shuffling papers around my house as an attempt to declutter for hosting parties tis the season. Thanks for the great ideas!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I downloaded the app and am so excited for my next day off to sit down and go through all of the useless paper floating around our house. I downloaded the adobe app!! It feels so good to get organized and free up all that space! Thank you for the specific guidelines. Hopefully I can keep the folders organized on our laptop.

What we need is in a fireproof safe, like yours. Have you ever tried to return an item showing just the scanned receipt? Well my idea with the receipts is that you could print it if you decide to return it.

Get Organized for the IRS

But I know some stores would be fine with the scanned in image- they might just need the original order number. I scanned in a tracking number for ups and that is super helpful! And then i see your post and story and. I almost cried — this adobe app is going to be life changing for me!!!! Thank you thank you thank you — you really are a blessing!

New follower here…This was sooo helpful- thank you!! I just downloaded the app and excited to give it a try! And the shredder and fireproof safe would definitely make the whole process easier and more enjoyable! With six of us it has become overwhelming. I will be referencing back to this post as I go through my houseful of papers!

Much appreciated!!

I will totally use this app! My husband uses a scanner for his documents at work but this might b a life changer for me! I use adobe scan too! She is almost finished with her PhD in early childhood at something! I hope that I can help her tackle the papers in her home so she can finish her writing in a peaceful and clean environment. Thanks for sharing!! We just moved to church plant and I have found your blog a life saver!

Learn How to Declutter Your Home With Professional Organization Tips

As our new old house is smaller, You have helped me learn to live with less and still have style and warmth to my home. This app is a game changer! So excited to start snapping Picts today and scanning in everything! Paper is such a tough thing for me to make headway on when organizing and I tend to over throw out and regret it later! I downloaded the app suggested and started using it right away. Thank you thank you!!! Downloaded the app, how did I not know about this sooner??

Now to get a shredder to get rid of the monster pile. This is a lifesaver, especially with three kids who are constantly bringing home papers to keep track of. Thanks Brooke!! Thank you for doing this post! I get so overwhelmed with papers in my house. I LOVE the app idea. He is a major saver, as for me, no need to keep papers from like 15 years ago!!! I know my husband will ask that. This is a wonderful post full of great information! Thank you for doing all of this research! Downloaded the app and it is so easy to use.

This has motivated me to rid our house of all of the unnecessary papers! I look forward to your instagram stories and blog posts each day! Thank you for taking the time to put together thoughtful blog posts for us readers! So much appreciated!

How To Mail Documents to the IRS - Bulletproof Method

What a helpful and thorough post! I definitely need to devote more time to rereading so I can prepare myself to tackle some paper storage issues in our home! Thank you!!!!! I downloaded the app and immediately eliminated paper clutter on my desk. I use essential oils, so I had printed out diffuser blends. I snapped a picture of each and put them into a file on my phone. Easy access and no clutter.

I also had recipes to try, so I scanned those as well We had a house fire a year ago and will hopefully be back in our home next month. Thank you so much for this! I am equal parts inspired and a bit overwhelmed but the kind of overwhelmed that feels like an invitation. Going to have my second baby in February oldest turns one tomorrow! The information is so practical and I am already using the scan app today, thanks to you! I am so thankful I came across your Instagram story on this!

8 Tips for Organizing Your Paperwork

I downloaded the app and can not wait to become more organized. I also love the storage solution in your kitchen! Thank you for taking the time to share! Brooke, Thank you so much for this post!! This was helpful. That Adobe app makes scanning so easy! I have been wanting to get one of those fire safe boxes for awhile.

I like how the one you have fits files. This is amazing!! Such a great detailed guide! I need to get a safe and a shredder! Our house is almost 1, square feet and our twins have largely taken over in the last year so we need all the organization we can get. Thank you for taking the time to share!! This post was perfect timing. We are finally closing on our house on Friday and I struggle with papers! I downloaded the Adobe Scan app as soon as you showed on ig how easy it was to use!

I have to get my papers under control and this is exactly what I need! Thank you for sharing. We have a similar size house and am struggling to get organized. Papers are my biggest madness!! This was all so very helpful! This is such a good post that I will have to keep going to for tips. Thanks for organizing it all into one spot for everyone! Yo yo yo, I have a stack next to my bed. A stack on my kitchen counter and a stack on my desk. Bffff a buufff a bifffff rap sounds. As a growing family living in a sq ft apartment it has also been difficult to figure out storage.

As soon as I read the post I immediately downloaded the app and started tackling the 3 bins of papers I have scattered throughout. I still have a couple more areas to check for random papers but I definitely made a dent. Drowning in paper! It is the bane of my existence. Just downloaded the app and plan to try your approach. Wish me luck. Signed, The Paper Hoarder. I needed some encouragement to let go of those cards hat I am keeping for no reason.

I want to live in an RV one day with my family of 5. This is exactly what I need! I had no idea there was an app to just scan documents. I tend to over save on the paper stuff. This will be my project in January! Get rid of almost all the paper! Thank you for sharing this!! So thankful to have come across your Instagram account! I needed this information and suggestions on how to get more organized in a small home.

I know my husband will appreciate this too! I downloaded the app and cannot wait to get started. Thank you for taking the time to put this together! Thank you for taking the time to do a blog post on decluttering paper documents! This comes at a perfect time for me especially this time of the year when papers get shuffled around a lot and usually lost. I always know where to visit to get inspired, thanks Brooke!! Hi Brooke! These suggestions are so helpful. I was currently using a regular basket for the files you mentioned, and I realize we really need to switch to a firesafe box.

I had no idea they were that inexpensive! Paper and piles completely stress me out, so your post reminded me how using simple organization and a little daily work is the way to go. I live in a sq ft house so even just one extra stack of papers is just too much clutter. Thanks for all the tips! This was super helpful info!!! Definitely bookmarking this post. We have so many old papers in a filing cabinet I need to go through and purge!

Sounds like it is amazing to streamline and keep order from the paper mess! The never ending pile of family papers. I downloaded the app and look forward to this project during winter break! This is life changing information! I also have the fear of a house fire in the back of my mind, as my parents had one in First to-do is the stack in the kitchen.

Now I need to work on everything else. Thank you, thank you so much! Very timely and from what I can see from the comments here, it was much needed!!! Can you recommend a wireless printer? It has been so refreshing to free ouselves of the clutter and extra paperwork. I wanted to ask if you do the same with all of your old photos or if you have another method?

Would love to hear what you do with pictures and how you save them. Nesting With Grace by Brooke Christen. Your Major Paper Woes: The mail!! Taxes and household papers where to put them? A fire-safe box! A bonus, is that you can share the recipe with friends by emailing the recipe right from the app, First up, I am so thrilled to share this app with you! Quick Tips for Deciding When to Keep or Toss: Think about how difficult or time-consuming it would be to obtain or replace the document. If you plan to sell the house, and you have made improvements to it, keep receipts for those improvements for seven years — you may need them to lower the taxable gain on the house when you sell it.

Pay stubs one year to match to W-2 Seven Years Records of loans that have been paid off Tax returns and supporting documents Keep Current Copies Year-end retirement fund statements Annual insurance policy statements Vehicle repair and maintenance records keep until you no longer own the vehicle Warranties and related receipts keep until they expire or you no longer own the items Medical records and current prescriptions Receipts for valuable items, such as jewelry, electronics, and art keep while you own the item for insurance.

Receipts for anything you might itemize on your tax return should be kept for three years with your tax records. Join my newsletter subscription and get a chance to get your design question answered LIVE or on the blog! Share this post:. Keep on reading Comments Downloaded the app…. Oh good question!!! I just emailed them to ask. I have never heard of adobe scan. Getting it now!!!! Life saver!! Very smart especially with twins I need all the help I can get keeping paperwork in order.

Got the app! Need that safe next! Thank you so much Katie! Thank you for always inspiring me! Thank you for all of these wonderful tips. We are drowning in paper. Super helpful! I already have the app, but never thought to use it in this way. Hopefully it will tame the beast! Thanks for the recommendation! Loooooove this post and this idea. Thanks for the inspiration! I am an ATC too!

Prayers for you Angie. Does the Adobe Scan count for your phone storage? I wonder what happens if your phone crashes? If your phone gets lost or broken you would just reload the app! And it uses iCloud storage. Thannnnnnnnk you Brooke!!! Paper is taking over my life. Excited about this app!! I suggest everyone collect all their receipts in a receipt envelope or receipt organizer that you can carry around in your purse or wallet. Then, once a week, as part of the weekly paperwork session, you go through the receipts collected in your envelope and separate them into the categories mentioned above, filing those necessary to keep longer term, and then the majority of them filing in a simpler manner in the same place you file old bill stubs, since you'll discard the majority of them more quickly.

I've explained in this article how to create a receipt organizer , and how this organizational system works, along with your weekly paperwork session, to help you organize all of your receipts. This step is actually covered more in a separate week of this challenge, so I'll just reference it here now. In another week of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge I discussed creating a personal home inventory , giving steps for how to do it. Basically, the idea is that you want to have proof of your large purchases, such as large appliances and electronics, etc.

Pictures and inventories of what you own help the insurance company, as well as seeing receipts of how much the items cost, when new or new to you. Read the instructions from that challenge for more ideas on how to organize receipts such as these. Further, we'll touch again on many of these documents when we organize and store our home warranties in a later challenge.

You may want to consider scanning your receipts and documents and storing them electronically, at least for categories of the receipts. This can be especially helpful for cheap items, printed from a receipt roll on a cash register, which seems to have the ink fade after a couple of months. If you are going to store receipts electronically make sure you only save the ones worth saving though, so you don't waste your valuable time scanning recipts you'll never reference again.

That's why I don't recommend scanning receipts that fall into the first category of minor receipts, for example. Further, you need to have an adequate back up system for all electronic files if you decide to scan receipts to make sure you don't lose anything if your computer's hard drive crashes, for example. Many people have scanners these days, and these will work for digitizing a few receipts here and there. However, recently companies have also created portable scanners which easily scan documents of many sizes and can be used many places. I have to admit these receipt scanners look pretty cool, but they may be a bit of overkill for the average home.

However, if you've got lots of receipts for work or a home business it may be worth considering one. In step 5 of the Challenge, you're going to organize one of two major categories of tax documents.

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This category of tax documents are those types of documents you won't reference in this coming year's taxes, but may reference in tax returns several years from now. It includes things like home care and improvement expenses, insurance documents, retirement investments and non-retirement investments, etc. In reality, with the way I've organized the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, you're actually going to making files for all these types of documents next week, when we organize the files in your home. I'm just mentioning this step here mainly so if you don't do that challenge you'll know you need these types of files for organizing all your tax documents.

In step 6 of the challenge is to organize your tax documents and receipts that you'll reference this year, when you do your taxes. As you pay bills, or otherwise get documents throughout the year that you will need to reference again when preparing your year's tax returns it is important to put everything into a personal tax organizer system so everything is organized and ready to reference when you sit down to do your taxes or give to your tax preparer.

I will caution that the more complicated your taxes, and the more documentation needed to support them, the more elaborate your personal tax organizer system needs to be. On the other hand, if doing your taxes is a fairly simple matter, go with a simplistic system to fit your needs. No need to complicate something that doesn't need to be! You will create a new tax organizer file each calendar year, fill it up all year long as you receive various documents and receipts, and then once your taxes are completed for that year you'll even keep a copy of the tax return forms for the year right in the organizer.

It keeps all the officially filed forms and all back up documentation together, in case you ever need it. To get step by step instructions for how to make this tax organizer, and also for a list of suggested categories for this organizer file, check out my article on how to create a tax organizer for the current year's tax documents.

A frequent question is how long to keep tax records, and the personal tax organizer system you'll create for every year? The short answer is "it depends. Frankly, the IRS doesn't make it very easy for you to have a simple answer to this question, since there are always exceptions to the rule. I tend to be conservative because I don't want to get rid of paperwork if it may come back to haunt me, if for example, you have an audit or other encounter with the IRS.

In my opinion, this trumps a little filing space since with my personal tax organizer system above all your tax documents will be held in one expandable folder or small filing system anyway, and it doesn't take up too much room. Many tax professionals suggest to hold onto your filed old returns forever you can digitize them if you don't want to keep track of the paper anymore , and to keep all supporting documents for at least six or seven full tax years after you filed, since six years is the longer limitations period for the IRS, typically.

There is even an exception to that rule though. If you never filed a return, or filed a fraudulent return, you should hold onto all documentation indefinitely, since there is no limitation period in those situations. I've written an article you can consult for more information about how long to keep various types of papers here. It discusses how long to keep various tax documents, as well as various types of receipts, and many more categories of paperwork.

In addition, here's my article on how to organize old tax records in your home filing system for those papers that you still are under a legal obligation to keep. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you've organized your tax documents and receipts in the comments. I also love before and after pictures of your receipt organization and tax filing system and would love to see some of yours. Submit your pictures up to four per submission and get featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall of Fame.

You've worked hard to get organized, so now here's your chance to show off!

Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers
Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers
Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers
Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers
Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers
Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers
Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers Preparing Your Tax Return the Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Those Piles of Papers

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