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FYI Organization

EZ Tips For Storing Tax Documents

tax

Tax season can be, well, taxing. It's no surprise considering that the current U.S. tax code is 73,954 pages long! Imagine trying to organize and store all those pages in your CubeSmart cube! While you will only have worry about storing a fraction of paperwork by comparison, it's important that you understand the ins and outs of storing all of your financial papers to prevent a bigger tax-related headache later on. To help give you some peace of mind as the 2013 tax season closes, we've detailed tips to help you store your taxes for years to come.

April 15th is just around the corner, leaving with you little time left to file this year if you haven't already. Even if you have, now is a great opportunity to prepare your filing system for your next round of returns. Although, you may feel like shredding or tossing your financial documents, you will need to hold on to them for a certain number of years. How long to keep most of your income tax records usually depends on the time frame during which the IRS can audit a return and assess a tax deficiency or when you can file an amended return.

Generally speaking, the IRS recommends holding on to your tax records for up to seven years. Although, certain tax records such as property records, investment documents, tax returns, W2 forms, results of an audit by the IRS and state, business ledgers, and financial statements should normally be kept indefinitely. With that in mind, you'll need to set-up an organized system for keeping all of these documents in the event of a future audit or help settle your estate in the event of death.

To start your tax organization system, you'll want to:

  1. Gather all of your tax information from your earliest tax return to your most recent one.
  2. Use file folders or accordion folders to organize all those documents by year and sort them accordingly.
  3. Prepare for the upcoming 2014 tax season by creating additional folders to store medical bills, pay stubs,
    investments, donations, and any other taxable documentation that may be useful for next year.
  4. Use banker's boxes, crates, or file cabinets to store all of your past tax information and current tax documents.
  5. Identify the appropriate places for long-term storage of previous tax documents and short-term storage for your
    current ones.

While your home or home office may be an ideal place to store your tax documents for the current year, such as receipts for home improvements, medical bills, pay stubs, and bank statements, you may want to consider an alternate space to store all of your tax documents from the previous years. A CubeSmart storage facility, for example, would be an ideal place for longterm tax document storage which would help prevent your home from becoming cluttered with all of your past tax information. All you'd need to do is to move your tax organization system from your home to your CubeSmart cube to end any tax clutter and free your space and mind of your tax burden until next year.

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The Storage Queens

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3 Comments

  • I was a little shocked when I read about the IRS’s recommendation. Seven years is a long time to keep all of your tax records. I have about five years’ worth of documents in my basement, and there isn’t room for anymore. You make a compelling argument for renting a storage service.

  • I like the tip of organizing your tax documents.  That way you can find them a lot easier when you go to look for them in your document storage.  I wonder how long you should keep them before getting rid of them. http://www.vitalrecordscontrol.com/birmingham-alabama/document-storage/