Now that tax season is over, what should you do with your receipts and other financial papers? The answer to this question varies depending on your specific situation or profession, so the first thing you should do is talk to your tax preparer in order to ensure that you are adhering to the proper retention guidelines for your individual needs.
How long to keep tax-related documents is one question, but how and where to keep them is another. There are number of options. A simple and affordable method is to keep things in an accordion folder or binder. Keeping a tax year’s papers in a self-contained binder or accordion folder also means they can be easily stored in the bottom of the closet or the back of a drawer—someplace safe that you can get to if you need it, but not in the way of the things you are using regularly.
It’s worth noting that receipts tend to fade very quickly—usually within six months to a year. So if you are keeping receipts in hopes of being protected if you are ever audited, you should store them in darkness, or better yet photocopy or scan them. You can get all of your documents scanned by a company like Shoeboxed or self-scan with NeatReceipts or NeatDesk — both of which I refer to in the Productivity Toolbox: http://www.customlivingsolutions.com/productivity-toolbox
Typically, once your documents are scanned you can shred the originals, because the IRS accepts scanned receipts as proof for your taxes. This makes scanning a great option since it saves space and will always be at the ready—and readable!—if you ever need it.
If you’re wondering how to implement these strategies, we’d be happy to chat with you. Contact us for a complimentary strategy session by going to http://www.CustomLivingSolutions.com/Apply
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