TAX AND BUSINESS RECORDS– WHAT TO KEEP AND FOR HOW LONG?

3 rules to follow for peace of mind.

Here again in the midst of tax season, we are rudely reminded of the stress and time-devouring challenge of locating missing canceled checks, bank statements, sales receipts, or records of other financial and business activity, all of which may be needed to properly file our tax returns.  

Whether you’re the type who organizes your documents routinely throughout the year or you’re loathe to even think about such matters until April 15thnears, you eventually have to face what tax and business records you need to produce, which ones you need to keep and for how long.  

What kind of records should you be concerned with?

Most people’s lives are filled with paperwork –– bank statements, canceled checks, bank deposit slips, investment statements, contracts and agreements, sales receipts for major purchases, insurance policies, real estate records, property tax statements, mortgage agreements, medical records, prior tax returns, and on and on.   All of these can impact your tax liability which means all are important to hold onto for some amount of time, be it in hard copy or electronic format.

Procrastination is not a solution.  

For peace of mind, don’t put off proper management of tax and business records.  Not having what the federal, state and/or city tax agencies require can cost you both time and money.  Instead, get acquainted with the basic rules and then dig deeper into any new or special regulations that may pertain to your specific business or industry, geographic location or family situation.  Proactively tackling recordkeeping is one of the best favors you can do for yourself.

We offer the following guidance as to what records to save and for how long.

Rule #1:           

Follow IRS rules to the letter.  If you are self-employed or are a small business owner, go to https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-long-should-i-keep-records and save their single-page summary entitled “How long should I keep records?”

Rule #2:           

Ask your accountant or financial advisor to provide you a comprehensive list of what personal and business-related records to save and for how long. 

Rule #3:           

Develop your own system for saving and filing important records throughout the year. There are a number of books, videos and websites about making document storage easy and doable, whether your preference is hard copy or electronic.  Take tips from the pros and make them your own.  Then watch how much smoother your document search will be next tax season.

 

At Lenox, we assist our clients in all parts of their financial life, not just in managing their portfolio.   Have a question?  Need some specific information?  Please let us know.  Knowledge is one more way we can help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE.

If you’re ready to discuss financial planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow.

Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080or contact us hereto Fund a Life You Love.

 

 

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