Now that Tax Day is over with, let’s talk about what to do with copies of your old returns. Just because you have dealt with your taxes for the year, you are not completely in the clear. Oftentimes, an audit can come seemingly out of nowhere.
The IRS may come knocking two years away and you will want to keep your tax returns handy. Although the IRS are not a completely overt threat, it could still happen, to anyone. So, being prepared is paramount in getting through any audit successfully.
Keep all receipts handy. If the IRS comes around and wants to check your receipts you have the evidence available. If the IRS wants to see mileage logs, etc., have it available. You will want to keep all your credit card receipts, your receipts for charitable donations, your invoices, your proof of payment for those invoices.
If you own property and have taken out a deduction on your taxes, keep that paperwork even if you have sold the property (also, more paperwork to keep!). If you own a business that requires employees, make sure to keep all evidence, all paperwork and employment tax records, like their W-2’s.
The IRS will not formulate an audit after the statute of limitations for reporting income has passed (the tiers for statute of limitations vary in accordance with the severity of the possible crime). But it’s good practice to keep returns for years, especially if you were responsible for keeping tax records on old employees.
Consider keeping all this paperwork in a safe place. A filing cabinet would work well. Separate the paperwork by the years its applicable. Keep the receipts with the receipts, the mortgage paperwork with all other mortgage paperwork, etc. Basically, keep everything organized so that if the worst ever does happen, and the IRS comes a knocking, you will be able to hand them what they need when they need it, and get them out of your hair as quickly as possible.
If you have any questions as to how to handle your tax returns, call Practical Taxes today.
Practical Taxes is a full service accounting firm in Billings, Montana. We can help you get the most from your taxes, and make sure that you will get the maximum refund every year. But we don’t just do taxes! We can help with your bookkeeping, payroll, bank reconciliation, budgeting, and more. Give us a call at 406-894-2090 to learn more.