Most people who itemize their taxes have trouble keeping track of everything. Old people have a real problem, keeping envelopes and other unnecessary papers; and, strewing documents everywhere in their house or car.
This is to help you organize and is not tax advice. Hopefully, it is common sense – something old people should strive for.
The KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principal applies to old people in spades. Especially in financial matters.
All you need is a bucket labeled for taxes. During the year, you throw everything in the bucket; except envelopes. (Why old people keep envelopes is beyond me; and they are a source of clutter, confusion and contribute to important documents that go missing.)
You throw in notes where you paid cash or by credit card and copies of all credit card statements. Copy the front and back of needed checks and drop the copy in the bucket. Note that things in the bucket are in chronological order, so if you need something before tax season, you can find it easily.
Copy last years tax return; or your accountant’s tax form.
At tax time, take the papers out of the bucket, sort them by tax form categories, and attach them to a copy of last year’s tax return. Change the numbers, insert new numbers and add in any new items.
You now have everything you need for your taxes, or for your estate.