Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taxes - What Documents To Keep and How Long?

I've got the second load of sheets and towels in, as this house of girls goes home today and another house comes on Friday. It has been a busy week - a birthday with all the trimmings, appointments/work, a hair cut, homework, a few tears, good talks, a play, a movie, baking cookies - life with teenagers!

But taxes are a-comin' aren't they?

Taxes - What Documents To Keep and How Long?

Jerrie Dean at eHow offers the following list to clarify what you should keep and how long:

"1. Pay stubs, utility bills, credit card, check statements, mortgage receipts, canceled checks and receipts for minor cash purchases do not need to be saved unless they are needed to verify tax and warranty claims (see #2). Otherwise you can shred them after one year.

2. Tax returns,
W2's and 1099 forms, receipts, canceled checks, statements, self-employment expense records, and brokerage statements that you keep with your tax returns can be shredded after three years, but it is safer to keep them for seven years as if you under report your income by more than 25%, the IRS will go back that far.

3. ATM and debit card receipts and credit card receipts can be shredded after you get your monthly statement (and reconcile them with the statement - my comment).

"4. Quarterly and monthly financial statements and Social Security statements can be shredded after you get your annual statements (and reconcile them with the statement - my comment).

5. Keep your insurance policy, passport, will and power of attorney's until you get a new one.

6. Keep warranties and service contracts and receipts for those items until the guarantee expires or you no longer have the item.

7. Keep your deeds, stocks and bonds until you sell.

8. Home improvdement records, your 401k, IRA or pension records should be kept for three years after you sell or close the account.

9. Your birth, adoption, school diplomas and transcripts, Social Security card, military records, marriage certificates should be kept for ever and in a fireproof safe, too."

Even though taxes aren't fun, this list gives us the confidence to get rid of excess paper yet be prepared for the ultimate Fear Factor: an audit!