It’s that time of year again! The time to get out the receipts, collect employment information and file taxes! Since I’m self-employed, getting my taxes into the government in a timely manner is something I take pretty seriously. And with the various expenses involved with running a website and some of the deductions I’m entitled to claim for my boys’ various activities, I have quite a collection of receipts that need to be saved throughout the year!
The Master Lock 7148D Storage Security Box is a great way to keep the receipts and paperwork needed for tax season in one secure location. This locking file box features a durable steel construction and plenty of room to secure personal documents. And Master Lock also has some handy tips to help make filing taxes a little easier!
- Request electronic copies of your tax forms. Many employers offer employees the option to receive their forms electronically instead of by mail. By eliminating the risk of postal delays or missed deliveries, this ensures that your document will be delivered securely as soon as it is available.
- Securely store documents online. Avoid the mess of a mound of paperwork by storing – and organizing – all of your tax-related documents online. By utilizing a free, secure service such as the Master Lock Vault (www.masterlockvault.com) you’ll have easy access to all of your files wherever you are and help ensure that none of your paper documents will ever be lost, misplaced, stolen or damaged. Not only can you upload PDF forms, but you can also upload photos from your phone of important receipts and expenses for your records. All data is instantly synchronized between the website and the App. Bonus: securely store log-in information for your bank accounts and tax filing site in the Vault so you’ll never have to worry about forgetting your username or password.
- Think taxes year-round. Don’t wait until you’re ready to file your taxes to start collecting and organizing the supporting documents you’ll need to complete your return. Avoid the scramble by capturing and uploading a digital image of your receipt each time you pay the babysitter or have a tax deductible transaction, fill a prescription at the pharmacy, or make a charitable contribution such as dropping off a clothing donation to your local thrift store.
- Opt for direct deposit. If you’ve done everything else online, why request a hard-copy check when it comes time to claim your refund? When combined with electronic filing, direct deposit is the fastest way to get your refund. If you’re on the other side of the spectrum and find that you owe taxes, opt to pay online and you can avoid the long tax-season lines at the post office.
- Call for help. Sometimes, outside advice is necessary, and you can now get the help you need without leaving home. Based on the complexity of your question, there are a variety of resources to turn to. For example, the IRS offers a toll-free hotline for tax questions during weekdays. Several tax-prep software providers also offer guidance via online forums or on their social media feeds.
I featured a review of the Master Lock Vault last year and it really is a great way to keep important information secure and accessible.
So grab your paperwork, buckle down and get those taxes sent away! Once they’re done, make sure to prepare for next year by putting a system in place that will keep your receipts and documents organized and easy to access when next year’s tax deadline rolls around. And by using the Master Lock Vault to help you do that, you may just end up with extra money to spend this tax season!