A Tip from the Techie!

On Sunday, I finally sat down and did our taxes.  I have learned from past experience with the school district to not jump right in and do taxes right after getting the Hubby’s W2.  Why?  Because they’ve had to send updated W2s out in the past.  And, my mistake of using the wrong one cost us around $2000 one year…..that was how much over they refunded us.  Oh, yeah….and it took them 3 years to notice it, but I digress.

At the start of last year, I decided I needed to figure out a better way to manage the charitable tax deductible donations.  If the actual letter doesn’t end up in the tax folder, then I end up not being able to include them because of the lack of information.  At the start of 2008, I decided to start using a feature in Gmail to see if that would help.  Yes, it helped….a LOT.  

Since many of the donations I make are made online, I would make sure the confirmation of the donation was sent to my Gmail account.  One of the ways Gmail is different than other free accounts is that instead of folders (which you can use), you can label things in a similar fashion to how you put labels on blog posts.  So, I created a label called 2008 Taxes.  Each time I would get an email confirmation for a charitable donation, I would apply the label to the email.

On Sunday, when I needed to enter my Charitable donations into Turbo Tax, I brought up Gmail,  and clicked on 2008 Taxes which show me all of the emails with that label.  From there I was able to enter it into Turbo Tax really quickly.  And, more importantly, I was able to find them all.  And, I have the receipts for the tax folder in case I need them in the future.  

Clearly, you can use labels for many other things too.  I have read that some people use it to manage their to-do lists.  Apply a “DO” label and if you need to find emails to follow-up on, you can find them quickly. There are lots of great uses, but I found this one to be a lifesaver (more like a tax-saver).  

One Comment Add yours

  1. Very Clever. I have folders for everything. We did pitifully with our donations though.

    I do use my camera phone to take a picture of the number you call on the clothes drop box to get my receipt for the donated clothing.

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