Mellody Hobson, "Good Morning America's" financial contributor, recently offered tips on how to get your financial act together in time for tax-filing season.
Hobson's streamlined organization system will help you figure out what you have and what you need. The prep work will save you precious time and help you to avoid a last-minute and often frustrating paper chase.
Save and print the checklist below to help get your documents in order.
Get four folders, one for each type of tax document.
Label the first folder "Your Income." Place your W-2 form in it.
Label the second folder "Your Investments." Place your 1099 forms in it. This folder should contain any 1099 forms from banks, brokerage companies, mutual funds, etc. Also, include a copy of your year-end bank, brokerage and mutual funds statements.
Label the third folder "Your Expenses." Place your mortgage statement and other big-ticket receipts in it. This folder should contain major life purchases like a mortgage or a car.
Label the fourth folder "Your Deductions." Place charitable donation forms in it. This folder should contain all receipts and records detailing your contributions, letters of acknowledgment from all charitable organizations confirming your donation and their status as a 5013C.