Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
What to shred and what to keep (old taxes)
Old 01-24-2019, 02:18 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
always_learning's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 130
What to shred and what to keep (old taxes)

In relation to my post about scanning and shredding ( Scanner recommendation? ) I was wondering what we should actually keep the originals of regarding taxes and other important papers (financial/medical). I've read the guidelines on how long to keep taxes but am unsure as to exactly what that entails.

Specifically, for taxes 10 years old or older, is it advised to keep all of the various forms, schedules, and worksheets or is just the one/two page 1040 all one needs?

I'm curious as to what others do.
__________________

always_learning is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-24-2019, 02:40 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,942
Once you're past the date where you can be audited, there's no need to keep any of it, unless you need proof for things like equity basis, HSA receipts for future claims, capital loss or foreign tax carryovers, etc. You don't even need the front page of the 1040, unless I'm missing something.

But I'm a bit of a pack rat and get curious about old financial info, so I save a few things. Last time I purged I saw that I still had the old instruction books they used to mail and stuff like that. I know I dumped that. I think I kept the stapled set of pages with the forms. I'd have to pull the box back out and check the folders, but I probably kept the 1099s and W2s and stuff like that, but if I didn't dump all the receipts for charities and 1099-INTs from banks and stuff like that, I probably will on the next purge.

I think there was a thread on this in the last year or two but I couldn't quickly find it.
__________________

RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 02:51 PM   #3
Administrator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee ba gum
Posts: 24,284
I only keep 10 years worth of paper tax returns. I donít delete my electronic copies as they donít take up any physical space.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Enough private pension and SS income to cover all needs
Alan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 02:52 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 166
I scan everything by year. And shred all the paper when in done each year doing the year priors taxes. I keep one paper folder to throw items in as they show up for next years taxes.
MrsHaloFIRE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 02:56 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ExFlyBoy5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Country Living
Posts: 3,162
I don't have any physical copies anymore, as it's all digital now and kept in a couple different places (cloud storage and periodically backed up to external drive that is kept in a fire box). A high speed scanner makes this very easy to do for those documents that I get that aren't electronic (few and far between these days).

When I was settling my Dad's estate, he had kept ALL the taxes (and business records) since 1950 something and it took up a sizable space. He had also kept every single utility bill since he built the house in 1973. Needless to say, there was A LOT to get rid of.

In regards to federal taxes, if all else fails, you could request copies from the IRS. I don't know exactly what you can get or how much it costs, but it's an option.
__________________
Retired in 2014 at the Ripe Age of 40
Founder and Head Lounger @ The Life of Leisure Institute
ExFlyBoy5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 02:59 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 6,194
I keep tax related paper docs in a box each year and on the outside I write the tax year (i.e. 2018). I then stash it in the attic and remove the box that holds my 7 year old stuff (2011). I shred 2011 and make those shreds part of my next BBQ (makes great kindling.)


I retain all year-end financial docs that I receive from VG forever.
__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 04:03 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,010
I keep 5 years of complete tax folders. Beyond 5 years, I keep only the forms and supporting documents and worksheets which are at most 1/3 the size of the more recent, bulkier folders. I have been building up more completed forms stored electronically, up to about 5 years now.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 04:43 PM   #8
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,677
I have a full hardcopy of every tax return I have ever filed. I keep the backup documentation for the past 5 years.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 04:56 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,070
For qualified HSA withdrawals one needs to be able to show the amount was not previously deducted as a medical expense. Potentially that's decades of old records.
GrayHare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 05:00 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,402
I have paper copies of every return from since I started working. Everything has been scanned in electronically as well.

I had years of statements, pay stubs, and other docs that I scanned in and dumped. Took many months but worth it. Now I try to avoid any hard copies and everything is electronic.
jim584672 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 05:02 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A little ways southwest of Chicago
Posts: 11,086
I scan all tax returns and backup information. I have almost everything digitally back to 1979. And I keep the most recent 5 years returns and backup info in hard copies.
__________________
The wilderness is calling and I must go.
Ronstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 05:15 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Western NC
Posts: 1,296
I only keep 3 years of supporting documentation, actual paper return forever (so far)
ncbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 05:17 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LKN
Posts: 13,713
I upload every tax doc possible and I don’t request any tax docs in hard copy, but I keep whatever hard copies I get for 7 years. I have scanned copies of all forms and supporting docs going back over 20 years, why delete them?

But there’s less actual paper every year, so I assume hard copies will disappear completely soon?
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 45% equity funds / 30% bond funds / 25% cash - radically changed Nov 2018
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 05:50 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Souschef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Santa Paula
Posts: 2,326
I am a shredder, unfortunately DW is a pack rat. I was looking through her hope chest for the first time since we moved it here 11 years ago. I found a pamphlet with her son's baby formula.
He is 47 years old !!!!
__________________
Retired Jan 2009 Have not looked back.
AA 50/45/5 considering SS and pensions a SP annuity
WR 2% SI 2SS & 2 Pensions
Souschef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 08:49 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 201
I believe I read somewhere to keep your w2s until you file for SS.
badatmath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 09:09 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 15,271
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
I have a full hardcopy of every tax return I have ever filed. I keep the backup documentation for the past 5 years.

Just like me... except that I have the docs for more than 5 years... maybe 20ish...


I have an expanding folder that I throw them into.. it is pretty slim, about an inch max... no need to go and throw out stuff as that takes time..


BTW, I cannot find some years and think that DW was getting rid of stuff she had no idea what it was and that is part of what was thrown out.. kinda hard to hide missing years!!!
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 09:46 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 341
I keep pdf copies of everything (signed forms, receipts, YE stmts, 1099s, TT support schedules) forever, backed up to two places. Hard copies of forms only (no supporting docs) until the statute is closed.

Note that many state statutes are 4 years compared to 3 for Fed. Donít shred too soon....
ocean view is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2019, 01:17 AM   #18
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 656
Went to Staples and in the copying area they charge for shredding. I will do it myself in my machine. It will pay for itself in no time.
Nick12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2019, 06:01 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,942
Quote:
Originally Posted by badatmath View Post
I believe I read somewhere to keep your w2s until you file for SS.
Never heard that. Pack rat that I am, I don't have all of them. I've looked at what SS shows as my yearly income and verified most years, and it's correct, so why would I still need the W2s? I don't think they would lose the info. If nothing else I have printouts and saved pdfs of them as proof in case my account there gets wiped out.
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2019, 06:16 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LKN
Posts: 13,713
Quote:
Originally Posted by badatmath View Post
I believe I read somewhere to keep your w2s until you file for SS.
If you have a recent SS statement, aren’t all the W2’s shown confirmed?
__________________

__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 45% equity funds / 30% bond funds / 25% cash - radically changed Nov 2018
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
24 year old feeling like a 44 year old wanting a 64 year old portfolio Stripes Hi, I am... 9 08-30-2018 05:28 PM
Shred your boarding pass Chuckanut Travel Information 9 10-08-2015 04:46 PM
What to keep in after-tax and what to keep in tax advantaged? LakeTravis FIRE and Money 5 10-23-2013 06:04 AM
How long to keep old receipts and statements? novaman Other topics 9 01-03-2011 07:29 AM
Taxes, Taxes. Taxes mickeyd FIRE and Money 1 02-09-2008 12:18 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:25 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.