- a 3-ring binder style notebook that fits 8 ½ x 11” paper
- 8 ½ x 11” paper – lined or not (I use the backside of scratch paper)
- leftover cardboard from the back of letter size notepads (or product packaging or a piece of poster board)
- non-reimbursable business expenses
At the top of a sheet of paper, I wrote (or you could print out from the computer) the year and the title of the category. For example, 2016 Medical Expenses. I punched holes in the paper, so that it could be put in the notebook. I did not put the paper in a sheet protector because then I would have to take it out each time I wanted to write on it.
At the front of the notebook, I put the 5 sheets of paper (you could go alpha, I went by frequency of use). Then I punched holes in the cardboard pages. On the front of each cardboard page, I glued an envelope and on the envelope, I wrote a category. For example, Medical Expenses. I then put the cardboard in the same order as the sheets.
Each time I have an expense, I write it down on the appropriate sheet (so my United Way donation goes on the sheet titled “ 2016 Donations” and the receipt for the donation goes in the envelope marked “donation.” Add additional sheets for listing expenses when needed. And I always file receipts at the back of the envelope.
At the end of the year, I take out the sheets and remove the receipts and staple them together by category, so that categories stay intact. Or you could put them in recycled envelopes. Then I make new sheets for the new year and reuse the cardboards with the envelopes.
You could replace the card stock and envelope with plastic sheet protectors as the receipt holders.
This idea may not work for you, but it has been such a time saver for me. I keep the notebook handy by my desk. That way when I write a check or take a receipt out of my purse, I deal with it then. I don’t have to touch it again until tax prep time. So this taxing job, just got easier!
Fun Bonus: I keep my birthday cards from my August birthday and put them in the front flap of my tax notebook. Then when I prepare my taxes for my CPA in February or March, I read them again. It brings a bright spot to a chore and makes me smile.