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Best storage methods for receipts and write-offs

circled19160265.jpg If you have a business, one of the perks is the ability to write off certain expenditures that have to do with your business operations. This could be anything from meals to cell phone use to airplane tickets. In the end, faithfully reporting your expenses can end up saving you a lot of money when tax time comes.

However, in order to be able to do so, you must keep good records of your receipts and write-offs. This means storing everything in an organized fashion so you or your accountant can access them during tax time.

The following are some of the best storage and organization methods for receipts and write-offs.

Set aside a place in your wallet or purse for receipts.
When you make a purchase you are planning on writing off, set aside a place in your wallet or purse specifically for receipts that you are going to write off. This will make it easier to organize them once you get home or whenever it is you take the time to organize them and put them in a permanent location.

Set aside time once a week to separate and organize receipts.
It is also helpful to set aside time once a week, whether it is a lunch hour one day or an hour or so on a weekend, to go through your purse and wallet and collect your receipts and write-offs. From there, you can organize them in to specific categories for your business expenses, such as dinners, communications, travel, etc.

Find a storage method for your receipts and write-offs.
There are a number of different ways you can store your receipts and write-offs. If you have a lot of them, you may want to set aside space in an entire filing cabinet for your receipts. Or, you can put them in a lock box, an expandable folder, a drawer, or other method of filing. The amount of receipts and write offs you have will ultimately depend on how you store them; envelopes in desk drawer may be plenty if you have a small business, or you may need an entire filing cabinet to keep things organized and together.

Whatever filing system you choose, it is a good idea to organize your receipts by month. Folders are a great way to do this. You can also use large envelopes to store them, and then keep them in a safe place, such as a drawer, filing cabinet, or other place you can keep them all in one spot. You can do this by having a manila folder for each month, where you can then store receipts for each month, making them easier to organize when it is time to do your taxes.

You may also want to consider keeping track of your expenses and write-offs online or on a computer program as well. You can make a simple Excel spreadsheet of your expenses and write offs, which will also make it easier for tax season when it is time to record your information.

It is also not a bad idea to store your irreplaceable or especially important receipts (such as big-ticket items) in a fireproof box. You may also consider putting your receipts into plastic covers, which will help protect them.

Keeping your receipts and write-offs organized and stored is important for record-keeping and taxes. The above are some of the best ways.

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