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Good recordkeeping will save you time when preparing your taxes. It will also assist with the preparation of your tax returns. It is best to organize records and documents by date and category. Should you need professional software to help maintain records, you can purchase the latest version at any office supply store. It is best if all sensitive, personal information is kept in a fireproof and waterproof safe.

We recommend you keep your records indefinitely.

General financial documents:

  • Pay stubs
  • W-2s
  • 1099 Forms
  • Records of tips earned
  • Receipts for large purchases
  • Records of investments and contributions to retirement accounts
  • Bank and brokerage statements

Receipts for deductible items:

  • Amount
  • Payee’s name
  • Date of transaction

*If payments are made by cash, obtain a signed and dated receipt showing the amount and reason.

Insurance and medical records:

  • Insurance claims
  • Medical expenses

*Include dates and details

 Charitable records:

  • If donations are made by cash, obtain a receipt, date of donation, value, organization etc.
  • Credit-card receipt
  • Bank statement
  • For cash donations of $250 or more, the charity also must give you a written acknowledgement of the donation.
  • For property (noncash donations), you’ll need a receipt from the charitable organization:
    • Charity’s name
    • Date and location of donation
    • Description of donated item
    • For donations with a fair market value of $250 or more, you’ll also need written acknowledgement of the donation. You might need an appraisal, depending on the value and condition of the property.
    • Keep record of out-of-pocket expenses incurred through charitable work:
      • Mileage
      • Parking Fees / Tolls
      • Bus / taxi fares
  • Written communication from the charity showing the:
    • Charity’s name
    • Donation date
    • Donation amount

Theft or loss documentation:

  • Value of lost or stolen property
    • Date you noticed the property missing
    • Proof of ownership

*You should also keep insurance or appraisal information and police reports.

Gambling records:

  • Date and type of specific wager or wagering activity
  • Name of gambling establishment
  • Address or location of gambling establishment
  • Amount won or lost
  • Wagering tickets
  • Canceled checks
  • Statements of winnings or payment slips the gambling establishment provides

Additional important documents:

  • Marriage Licenses
  • Birth Certificates
  • Wills
  • Adoption Papers
  • Death Certificates
  • Records of Paid Mortgages

Disclaimer: This information should not be construed as financial advice however, it is provided as a resource. Financial decisions should be made only after a careful review of your personal situation and in consultation with your tax and/or financial advisor.

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