No one likes to do taxes. But with the extended-for-2021 May 17th deadline right around the corner, folks in the US are running out of days to procrastinate — and it certainly doesn’t help if you have a big pile of tax-related papers to process or send to your accountant. This year, instead of getting overwhelmed (or misplacing an important document), consider using Dropbox to help. Here’s how.
1. Go paperless
Keeping all your receipts in a shoebox? There’s a better way. Create a specific folder in your Dropbox for taxes, and use a Dropbox-integrated scanner app to upload those receipts and any tax forms that are mailed to you. With everything digitized and safely stored in your Dropbox, you won’t have to worry about losing track of important papers, and you’ll know exactly where to find that medical bill or W-2.
2. Make filing quick and painless
Now that you have everything in a Dropbox folder, it’s time to put it to use. Consider that taxes folder your one-stop shop for tax prep, housing not just your receipts and tax forms but also your completed returns. You’ll have all the info you need to file — including previous years’ returns — right there. Working with an accountant? Instead of sending sensitive financial files as attachments over multiple emails, you can securely send all your files at once by sharing your taxes folder and choosing the settings and permissions that are right for you. Dropbox Pro users, for example, can share the folder with view-only permissions, or can send a password-protected or expiring shared link to the folder.
3. Protect your financial info
In addition to the security that’s already built into Dropbox, you can take a few extra steps to protect your data — which is especially important when you have sensitive financial information stored in your account. We recommend:
- Setting up two-step verification and choosing a strong, unique password for your Dropbox account
- Adding passwords or PIN codes for accessing your laptop or mobile device
- Setting up full-disk encryption to protect your data if your device is lost or stolen
- Asking your accountant or tax preparer about the security on their accounts and devices
With these tips in your tool belt, you’ll be well on your way to one of the happiest moments of the year — checking ‘File taxes’ off your to-do list.