Purchase a plastic or heavy cardboard filing box from an office supply store. Also, purchase some 12x15 inch manila envelopes. Be sure the storage box is big enough to fit these envelopes.
Gather the tax documents and supporting paperwork as soon as the taxes are done. This is also a good time to file anything else you kept throughout the year related to your finances, such as receipts, bills and bank statements.
Label one envelope "tax returns, all years" and place all tax returns in this single envelope. They can be kept indefinitely and are easily accessible down the road when applying for loans or other special cases.
Mark another envelope with the tax year, not the current year. If more than one envelope is needed, mark the first one "one of two," the second one "two of two" and continue this pattern. Create a separate envelope for each tax year.
Put the supporting documents into the envelope for the appropriate tax year. You can organize the materials you are putting in the envelope, but it is not necessary. There is a good chance you will not have to get back into this envelope unless you are audited.
Keep any documents that pertain to assets, including house and cars, or investments out of the envelope. You may need to access these documents when you sell the investment.
Store the envelopes in the box in chronological order. Label the outside of the box "tax return documents." Also indicate a beginning year, and when the box fills up, the ending year. Place the box some place out of the way where you will not have to see it again until next year.
|Nevada||New Hampshire||New Jersey|
|New Mexico||New York||North Carolina|
|South Carolina||South Dakota||Tennessee|