Record Keeping Tips & More...

Wednesday November 29, 2017 comments

Record Keeping Tips & More...

1) Keep your Books Up-to-date. Save time and Tax dollars by staying organized and up-to-date with your books.

2) Protect Your Identity. Don’t routinely carry your Social Security card and make sure your tax records are secure. Treat your personal information like you do your cash; don’t leave it lying around.

3) Hard Copies Retention and Records Disposal.

  • Retain a copy of your completed federal and state tax returns and their supporting materials. There are time frames to how long you should keep prior year returns. See below for IRS Retention periods, however, be sure to ask me at your next appointment prior to disposing your documents.
  • If you retain paper records, you should keep them in a secure location, preferably under lock and key.
  • Your federal and state tax records, as well as any financial or health records should be shredded before disposal.

4) Digital Copies Security and Records Disposal. 

  • If you retain you records electronically on your computer, encrypt your files and have an electronic back-up (in case your hard drive crashes). 
  • Deleting stored tax files will not remove them from your computer. You should wipe the drives of any electronic product you trash or sell, including tablets and mobile phones, to ensure you remove all personal data.

5) IRS Recommended Retention Period. The IRS recommends retaining copies of your tax returns and supporting documents for a minimum of three years to a maximum of seven years. Remember to keep records relating to property you own for three to seven years after the year in which you dispose of the property. Three years is a time frame that allows you to file amended returns, or if questions arise on your tax return, and seven years is a time frame that allows filing a claim for adjustment in a case of bad debt deduction or a loss from worthless securities. Here is a handy chart to help you keep track of what should be filed vs. what you can toss: Document Retention Chart 

6) Don't Take the Bait! New Scam: The Internal Revenue Service is warning people to avoid a new phishing scheme that impersonates the IRS and the FBI as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage. The scam email uses the emblems of both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It tries to entice users to select a “here” link to download a fake FBI questionnaire. Instead, the link downloads a certain type of malware called ransomware that prevents users from accessing data stored on their device unless they pay money to the scammers. The IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds. Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.

7) Schedule your appointment Today! Let's discuss your retention periods and review your financial information, discuss questions, and go over your individual tax and business related matters. Be prepared, tax season is near!

 



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