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Each year, millions of Americans worry about the looming tax deadline. To avoid last-minute hassles and ensure that taxes are prepared accurately and on time, follow these suggestions:

Clear the clutter

Start with a clean slate before Tax Day arrives. Clearing your home office or bill paying area of clutter will make the process of sitting down at the desk and working on your tax return much easier. Now is a great time to take a comprehensive look at your desktop and how you store everything from current, active files and paperwork to office supplies.

Have a plan for paper

Even as technology is increasing, we're still dependant on a great deal of paper, particularly when it comes to taxes. Set up a system for collecting information you'll need for your tax return and be vigilant about putting appropriate items there immediately.


Protect invaluable paperwork

Items that you need to store indefinitely should be stored in protective archival boxes to prevent yellowing over time. (For a list of what to keep and for how long, click here) Archival boxes are constructed from acid-free materials and feature a buffering agent to neutralize any migrant acid and atmospheric pollutants to increase the life of those important documents.

Manage your time

It's imperative that you keep yourself organized throughout the year in order to alleviate tax time stress. Personal organizers and calendars keep track of dates, appointments and expenses, giving you control over how your valuable time is spent.

Keep your family organized

To keep the entire family from drowning in a flood of bills, school papers, coupons and receipts that inundates our homes each day, set up an organization system in a central area of the home. This will also ensure tax-related paperwork that arrives in the mail doesn't get lost or misplaced. Each member of the family gets his or her own "in and out" basket. Create a tray for bills to pay and a "to-do" tray that can be used for dry cleaning receipts or to keep rental videos ready for return.

 
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