Seeing green: maximize your tax refund & recycle your receipts with NeatCo
I am really excited to share this video and writing with you, not only because I had a lot of fun with it, but because I truly stand behind the product. I used NeatDesk and NeatWorks to organize all my receipts this tax season and it helped me save thousands of dollars through deductions.
I learned about the company about a year ago at a job that required me to use NeatReceipts - while it was helpful, I always thought it took too long to digitize receipts. Then the company introduced NeatDesk, which can scan up to 10 receipts, 8x10 documents, and business cards with one press of a button! And there's even a new version of NeatWorks, the fabulous software that extracts the data and organizes it on your computer, allowing you to label by tax category, search, and make reports. You wouldn't believe the look on my accountants face when I showed her my methodical Excel spreadsheet - we finished my taxes in an hour and I actually got a refund this year!
Since April 15th is only a week away, if you don't have time to get one of NeatCo's products beforehand I still suggest you invest in one. My tax session could have gone even faster if I had labeled my receipts with a little more detail, so I'm starting that process now for next year. (I also suggest using Mint.com). I really enjoyed seeing how I spent my money and I discovered what expenses I could cut back on.
The downside to Neat is that it does take some time - I spent several hours scanning and sorting. Unfortunately, the analyze feature doesn't work perfectly, so I had to manually enter in a substantial amount. However, I didn't really mind because I needed to go through each receipt to figure out if they went into tax categories. This year I'll try to scan weekly or monthly so it takes less time next April, and hopefully Neat's software will improve.
Aside from taxes, it's really handy to have such a great scanner and software. Though I try to go as paper-free as possible, I still receive some important documents in the mail, and I have a drawer full of old stuff that is quite unorganized - how nice would it be to have all of that on my computer and be able to recycle it?!
Since the amount of paper companies currently use isn't eco-friendly, NeatCo is a perfect example of the direction they need to go in - digital! Check out their thoughts on sustainability here. Eventually most receipts and documents will be available online and via email (and then you can import them into NeatWorks). Start a trend by digitizing all of your current documents and then ask the companies to go paper-less in the future. And don't forget to recycle!
P.S. Check out this cute dark chocolate bar my accountant gave me!