Kim Carruthers in her book Less is More: How to De-clutter Your Life she says July is the perfect time to sort your tax return.

Tax time: The tax year and filing deadline differs from country to country, so put this task in the correct spot in your diary. New Zealand tax year finishes 31 March for lodgement in July. Download the application, find the paper form, or find your tax agents questionnaire. It feels really good turning clutter into a request to the tax department to give back some of your money. dig out your tax agents questionnaire or if you do your own taxes, either download the free tax return application from the tax department ( or get a paper form.

Tax return – just do the easy bits: todays job is to install the software and pull across the details from last year if you are doing it online. then no matter how you are doing it just enter the easy stuff like your name, address, spouse info and bank details. If you do a little at a time you will get the tax return done without major pain and hopefully turn that paper clutter into a nice tax refund.

Tax return – time to enter income details: If you are doing this online you may be able to tell the tax office to pull these details from your employer. If you work in lots of different places in a range of arrangements it is a little trickier and you will need to enter details manually. Whichever way you do it, today is the day to enter the income details in your tax return. If your tax return isn’t due, make sure you are storing details of your income where you can find them when you do need them.

Tax return – find all your deductions: Ok you’ve done the income, now enter your expenses and deductions such as charitable donations. Those receipts are very valuable clutter if they reduce your tax bill.

Tax return – finalise it and give it one last check: It is time to fill in any final details and have a good check through the whole thing. Make sure it matches your spouses and you haven’t double claimed anything or both thought the other is claiming something. Now sleep on it before you submit it.

Tax returns – time to submit that sucker: If you haven’t thought of anything else over night, now is the time to submit or post your return. if submitting electronically make sure you record the receipt number and save the source files somewhere safe so you can copy them across next year (a huge timesaver). If doing a paper copy make sure you keep a copy of at least the summary sheet. File all your receipts or check if you can scan them for easy storage. Make sure you’ve got enough information stored so that you can justify your figure in the event of an audit.


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