Start using Evernote to get ready for 2013 taxes today

2013 is here and many of us are starting to get organized for our taxes for 2012. We only have 4 and a half months, which will go by quicker than we want.

Are you organized and ready? I am. And I have already started getting ready for 2013 taxes using my favorite productivity app, Evernote.

My tax organization is easy, let me tell you about it quickly and see if there may be something you can take from it to help you be more productive and organized in 2013.

There are two different ways to go about this. First I will discuss if you do your own taxes, second how to set it up if you have someone else prepare your taxes for you.

Do-it-yourself tax preparation
For the do-it-yourselfer I recommend using tags. Set up tags for each category in which you will take a deduction for. Below I will use an example of different categories you may use and the tag I would use in Evernote:

  • Marketing – 13marketing
  • Travel – 13travel
  • Charity – 13charity
  • Meals – 13meals
  • Supplies – 13supplies
  • etc, etc, etc

Have a tax preparer
The first thing I do is create a new notebook called Taxes 2013. The reason I have a notebook here is because I am going to share it with my tax preparer.

Inside the notebook I will put all my receipts and use the following naming technique for my receipts 13–01–01 $240 Marketing

That example is a receipt I received on 1/1/13 for the amount of $240 for marketing.

The reason I use this naming technique, because now my tax preparation person knows what was added since the last time he looked at the notebook, how much it was for and what catagory I’m thinking it may be under.

I never have to tell my tax preparer when I add anything. Any time they log in, which could be weekly, monthly, or whatever works for you, they will see what was added.

For both groups
Here is the key I have found to make this system work for me. This will be the third tax season I have used Evernote to track taxes, and the second one I have done it for the complete year.

I have found this to be the key, as soon as I get a receipt it goes into Evernote immediately. If I get a receipt handed to me I take a picture of it with Evernote app on my phone. If receipt is emailed to me I forward immediately to Evernote. Doing so as soon as you get the receipt saves you from having to recreate things down the road.

I also highly recommend you get emailed receipts as much as possible. It really does make your life easier. When forwarding emails to Evernote I find using Powerbot a very useful tool.

Now is this the only way to track receipts, no, but it is what I have used for the last two years and I am very happy with how much easier it has made my tax preparation at the end of the year.
Photo credit rangerholton on Flickr

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