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Tax Time - Please share how you use Evernote to make tax time easier

Phil The Void

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I use Evernote to collect receipts, but I notoriously forget some.

I'd like to see if anyone has used any automation tools to make this easier?

I'd also love to know any other good tips. I'm a part-time real estate investor, self employed, work from a home office, on the board of a non-profit, in a domestic partnership with joint ownership of many properties......and many other things to complicate my tax life.

Ideas appreciated!


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I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M and I scan all my receipts directly into evernote. I file the receipts based on what the purchase was for. For example, my computer stuff goes into a notebook for my computer. My tool receipts go into my home inventory notebook. And so on. For tax stuff, I use tags. I have a 2011-Tax tag I add to all my notes that I need to remember for tax time. This way I can file things logically, but also recover them at the end of the year (or any year) so I can do my taxes.

For Sales Tax I use two different methods. The first method is like above only I add a second tag (2011-Sales Tax). The second method is for stuff I don't need the receipt for other than the sales tax. I have a box in my kitchen and everyone puts their receipts in this box. For EVERYTHING. School supplies, groceries, eating out, gas, etc... I mean everything. Every Sunday, I grab all the receipts out of the box and scan them into EN as 1 note. I add the total sales tax dollar amount to the title and add my sales tax tag. I also file the note into a "Sales Tax" notebook. At the end of the year, I can call up the 2011-Sales Tax tag and just add up the dollar amounts in the title of all the notes to get my total sales tax for 2011. This helps a lot at tax time.

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Similar to Sapseal. My tagging is a little simpler, though, with different categories related to my tax return but no dates. You probably know by now what kind of tags you need based on the way you file, so figuring out the tags isn't so difficult (medical, school, car, utilities, etc.). In my case, I put a title on each one with the date and a brief description ("111101 groceries"). Because I am consistent, all of my notes sort themselves chronologically. So, I just search for "tag:medical" or "tag:car" to find all of my receipts connected with it. I cannot tell you how easy this makes taxes.

You have to follow some rules, though. Scan everything. Name it consistently. And, tag religiously. So, I guess it does require discipline to get it right.

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