I get more mail in January than any other month of the year. Post-holiday sale catalogs, political campaign material, year-end bank statements, and most important—tax documents. In an effort not to loose mail of importance, I’m diligent about checking each piece carefully. (Sometimes sneaky junk mail is disguised as real mail.)

This weeks tax tidbit is very simple but often overlooked. Keep all your tax related documents in one place.

Once I sort the junk mail to the recycle bin and bid it ado, I open the remaining pieces. Then I file them in their appropriate folders and baskets. Each January I label one folder with the current tax year and keep it by my computer. As various 1099s, interest income statements, charitable contribution summaries, and mortgage interest statements come they all find their way to one place. With the amount of mail coming through my office, I don’t want to loose these valuable pieces of information.

I open my tax related documents immediately and verify the amount matches what I logged in QuickBooks. If there is an error,

I call the company who issued the form immediately and inquire about a revised version. Remember most tax related documents are required to be post marked by January 31st. This helps ensure you have plenty of time to file your tax returns.

When time comes to meet with your tax preparer, complete your tax organizer, or prepare your returns yourself, the last thing you want is to struggle to get your paperwork together. A simple basket, or folder, or shoebox can save you hours of time and unnecessary frustration. No matter the container you use or where you file your tax documents, be consistent and you’ll never wonder where you put your tax mail again.

If you don’t have a designated space, take a few minutes right now to create one. Clear it off and only put tax documents there—at least for the next few weeks!