Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Using Gmail tags for tax document tracking

I have a long post on mortgages and general financial implosion in the works, but I wanted to throw up a quickie first about a handy Gmail trick I'm making heavy use of. Last year was the first in which I itemized my taxes, and the first time I needed to have a record of charitable dominations -- which, er, I didn't have, because I didn't realise I'd be itemizing and able to deduct. Forewarned is forearmed and all that, so this year, I'm keeping track of what I donate.

But keeping track of lots of bits of paper is a pain. Fortunately, I've found that I don't have to. I don't know if my pattern is the common one, but almost every donation I make is at least originated online, and often fulfilled that way. Which means that every donation generates an e-mail trail, with a thank-you and receipt. I created a charity tag in gmail to archive the e-mailed receipts, and voila. Instant filing system for donation records. Come tax time, I can just click my "charity" tag and tally up my donations.