Find Your Tax-related Papers Quickly

Remember the file jacket?

Two of mine are on permanent assignment. They alternate, depending on whether we’re collecting tax-related records for an odd-numbered year, or an even-numbered year. They keep track of tax-related papers that show up throughout the year, before we finish our tax returns.

I’m talking W2s. I’m talking 1040-ESes. I’m talking 1095s, 1098s, 1099s, 529s, 5498s with HSAs and IRAs. I’m talking health-care expenses, mileage logs, home improvement records, charitable donation documentations, receipts for deductible expenses, childcare documentation, tuition expenses, property tax receipts.

I don’t like talking about these things, but I do like finding them quickly and painlessly when it’s time to crunch numbers.

One of the file jackets stores papers for years ending in odd numbers. We filed our return for 2021, so the odd-number file jacket is empty for now.

The other file jacket stores papers for years ending in even numbers. We already have some 2022 tax-related documents coming in, so the even-number file jacket is now hard at work, while the odd-number one gets to hibernate. For a little while, anyway.

two file jacket folders labeled tax documents - even year and tax documents - odd year

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