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  • How long to keep records and receipts

    hi all,

    How long should be we hold on to tax, property and related financial documents?
    For ex - Should you keep a copy of your 2010 tax returns? Do you keep 1099, property taxes etc. Also say - I sold my prior house in 2014. I still have documents. Should I keep them.

    Lastly, do you all keep scanned versions? Any specific downside?

    N

  • #2
    I recently purged documents. Had W2s from 2002. I think 7 years max is all you need.

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    • #3
      I have all that stuff from my entire adult life but it is poorly organized in a file cabinet. If my life depended on it I could probably find it but otherwise it is as good as thrown out.

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      • #4
        I have all my tax returns from 1988 onwards. Until 2010 they are paper. After that they are PDF files.

        The paper ones are in a file cabinet with separate hanging folder for each year.

        I only keep property taxes filings for the past 10 years.
        Last edited by Kamban; 07-13-2020, 06:19 AM.

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        • #5
          https://www.icpas.org/docs/default-s...rsn=dd94701d_0

          Some stuff you need and some you don’t. Depends on the purpose. If I have something that is still functioning and being used, most likely I still have the receipt and warranty info. Some things I keep permanently.
          Most I will never need. Hey, I get replacement faucets, door locks free. Most useful for household appliances and furnishings.

          Page 5 is personal stuff.

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          • #6
            with something like dropbox or evernote why discard them?
            easy to scan in (even batch scan) and save forever.
            then recycle the paper.
            everyone wins, even gaia.

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            • #7
              Are you a DIY taxpayer? If you have a CPA, you s/b able to get copies of any records you need from them. Otherwise, for most records, 7 years is probably more than adequate. However, some records s/b kept forever, such as plan documents, basis calculations for any assets you own, anything else that has info that is still using in tax filing or may be needed/required in a future filing.
              Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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              • #8
                Slowly archiving taxes into my email. Everything else has a 2 year shelf life.
                "Oh look another bajillion point declin-Ooooh!!! A coupon for pizza!!!!" <--- This is what everyone's IPS should be. ✓✓✓

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                • #9
                  Forever

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cubicle View Post
                    Slowly archiving taxes into my email. Everything else has a 2 year shelf life.
                    Two risks: You better have a well thought out plan of record retention and retrieval. Many are focused on hard copy vs electronic. That is not really the question. An electronic filing system actually needs to have a retention system as well.
                    When you say taxes, are you including all supporting documents or just the return? Are you including all retirement/brokerage accounts that are still active? Don’t think you really mean things like home purchases and repairs ( that 20 year warranty of the reroof might come in handy). 2 years won’t really cover you with just a copy of your tax return.
                    The email application and the storage location need to be considered. You can end up with files as attachments that you can’t read. Not criticizing, but some things to consider. Things change and can be difficult to find. For example, I make copies of supporting documents for tax returns that I want available and put it in the tax return file. My wife sometimes files it in a “property tax file” and it’s a pain to figure out and get a copy.
                    The saving grace for you is you don’t have that problem! Things change! She files differently! I originally used my email on my PC as electronic storage. Email name was forced to change etc. etc. So hard copy and electronic and paper had to be rethought. Just saying, don’t just rely on an email attachment. Save the file some place as a document might be helpful. Just a thought.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cubicle View Post
                      Slowly archiving taxes into my email. Everything else has a 2 year shelf life.
                      Can you expand on this? I’d like to know the process, what you’re saving, where, why. Asking b/c this doesn’t make sense to me. (It’s not you, it’s me )
                      Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jfoxcpacfp View Post

                        Can you expand on this? I’d like to know the process, what you’re saving, where, why. Asking b/c this doesn’t make sense to me. (It’s not you, it’s me ​​)
                        Scan documents, email to self, save in separate folder. I use this method to save expense receipts for future HSA disbursement. While I don’t do this for my tax returns, I do scan or download all my financial documents, email to my CPA and store the threads in a separate folder so all of them are essentially archived by both me and her. She does provide me with beautiful bound hard copies of my electronically filed returns though!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jfoxcpacfp View Post

                          . (It’s not you, it’s me )
                          George, is that you? :-)

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                          • #14
                            Like stated, I gather all my tax documents, 1099 (Misc, Div, etc...), mortgage tax statements, health insurance proof (whatever that form is), property tax receipts, anything I need for my taxes, a pdf of my estimated payments.... do my taxes, generate a pdf of my federal & state 1040, all schedules.... zip everything, all files, then email it to myself with a well worded subject (2019 IRS NJ Federal State 1040 all tax returns schedules documents) so I can easily know exactly what's inside. And never click the delete button. Stored under a email label/folder.

                            And what else I started doing for 2018 & 2019 taxes is to attach to the email, in order:

                            IRS 1040
                            NJ 1040
                            zip file with everything

                            Because that way I can quickly & easily get to the email, & without opening the zip I can open (or online view) my return for any information I need (agi, total tax, taxable, schedule c profit, etc...). And in the body of the email I'll throw in some pertinent numbers (total income, agi, m-agi, total taxable income, total tax liability, etc...). That way I don't even have to open any attachments when I need a simple number.
                            "Oh look another bajillion point declin-Ooooh!!! A coupon for pizza!!!!" <--- This is what everyone's IPS should be. ✓✓✓

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                            • #15
                              Electronic filing cabinet. Where is the car title on your beater? What’s your retention policy on email for refrigerator warranties and insurance policies? How are your email folders setup?
                              I assume you have a folder “Taxes”.
                              i use Taxes - Name - Year!

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