Getting your receipts ready for tax season can help speed things up when in the tax office, or preparing your own return. I often hear the advice to keep every receipt in a box, and just take the box in. Well, i would like to one up that person and will tell you instead to scan your receipts before taking them in.
Start early and keep up with your receipts.
Keeping up with your receipts, especially work related receipts and anything you can claim as an exemption, like travel costs and day care, is important. Instead of keeping everything in boxes, try scanning your receipts by day, week, or month..
At the end of each day, I sift through my purse and pull out those pesky pieces of paper that drive me nuts to look at. I lay them down on the glass of my scanner, and save the document in a receipt file on my computer.
For electronic purchases, I save a screen shot of the receipt page, and file that on my computer as well. I do a lot of electronic purchases for work, since I am an independent contractor, and it is a lot easier for me to take a screen shot first, then print the paper. I always print important receipts and keep paper copies, just in case.
Try scanning your receipts by week at first, and see how you like it. Don’t ditch the box just yet. Keep it, and remember to sift through it and file the papers away so that you won’t overwhelm yourself and your tax professional when its time.