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Old 04-12-2011, 08:00 AM
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Post Tips for Managing Your Tax Records

After you file your taxes, you will have many records that may help document items on your tax return. You will need these documents should the IRS select your return for examination. Here are five tips from the IRS about keeping good records.
  1. Normally, tax records should be kept for three years.
  2. Some documents — such as records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRA and business or rental property — should be kept longer.
  3. In most cases, the IRS does not require you to keep records in any special manner. Generally speaking, however, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return.
  4. Records you should keep include bills, credit card and other receipts, invoices, mileage logs, canceled, imaged or substitute checks, proofs of payment, and any other records to support deductions or credits you claim on your return.
  5. For more information on what kinds of records to keep, see IRS Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals, which is available on the IRS website at Internal Revenue Service
    or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Links:
Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals (PDF 61K)



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Old 11-21-2011, 01:01 AM
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to manage tax records it's not a difficult job. It's depends on your planning how you maintaining it. Take a moment to think about how you expect to file next season's return. Do you itemize? Do you own your own home? Got kids in college? Or do you expect to file a straight-forward return with no deductions?

Once we know how we expect to file, we can organize our paperwork to fit that. One easy way is to first use a document box - available at most large discount stores - as the overall repository for all those little, but very important, pieces of paper.

Now it's time to think inside the box. Just dumping receipts inside isn't the best strategy. It'll take way too much time looking for just that right piece of paper to make that practical. What you want is a general filing system. Think categories here: house, charity, child care, auto, and so forth.

Buy some large "barrel" type clips and label each one with the names of each of your categories. Then, it will take just seconds to put your receipts away every month and clip them where they belong. You are now instantly organized, and April isn't looking nearly as scary.

Of course, if you have a different system that works, that's fine too. Some people like file folders, but slips of paper can fall out of folders, so file pockets might be a better choice for that type of system.

The point here is to get those wayward bits of paper organized early, a little bit at a time, into manageable bundles. That way, when you're looking for that special record - say, the gas receipts for the Scout troop - you'll know right where to find it.



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