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Saturday
Mar162013

TIME FOR THE ANNUAL IRS TREAURE HUNT!

If you’re sensing the need for a better record keeping system, review last year’s tax return for clues on what information you should have on hand.  Keep in mind that you should be able to document every item listed on the return, including all sources of income and any tax-deductible expenses.  Most tax records should be maintained for at least three to six years, however, some tax consultants are now saying they should be kept a lifetime should any federal charges be brought up against you. 

Included in what you should save are cancelled checks and other papers related to medical bills, charitable contributions, rental expenses, alimony payments or business expenses.  Also, keep careful records on where you deposit and how you spend loan proceeds since this information determines the tax treatment of the interest you pay. 

As for insurance purposes, you should maintain accident reports, policy statements, an inventory of assets and receipts for any major purchases.  Where and how you store your files is almost as important as what you save.  Store your finance related files in one specific location.  A file cabinet is the best choice or, at least, an alphabetized accordion file folder kept in a desk drawer or office closet. 

Separate records in a way that means something to you.  It doesn’t matter the method you choose, just make sure that you clearly label all folders.  Then when you’re asked for any particular document or paper you’ll be able to put your hands on it within 5 minutes or less!  Taking time now will save you lots of anxiety ridden time in the future!

Help to organize your finances:  Before the Other Shoe Drops

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