Q: As the year drew to a close, I wondered how long I should keep important documents. I’m running out of space and have to start throwing away some of the old ones.
Answer: Different documents need to be kept for different lengths of time. Here are some recommendations from the Internal Revenue Service and the Better Business Bureau.
“Generally, you must retain your records supporting an item of income, deduction, or credit shown on your tax return until the statute of limitations for that tax return expires,” the statement reads. ‘IRS.
Keep records for three years, unless you are reporting income no more than 25% of your reported gross income. Keep these records for six years.
If you do not file a return or if you file a fraudulent return, keep the records permanently.
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Lechelle Yates of the Better Business Bureau of Central and Northwest North Carolina provided information on keeping other types of records.
Keep these records permanently:
* Major financial documents.
* Birth and death certificates.
* Military discharge documents.
* Life insurance policies.
* Wills and living wills.
Keep the following documents for one year:
* Regular statements, payslips.
* Keep a digital or paper copy of your monthly bank and credit card statements for the past year.
*You should also keep pay stubs so you can use them to verify the accuracy of your Form W-2 when tax season and receipts for major purchases arrive.
* The Federal Trade Commission suggests keeping your medical bills paid for a year before throwing them away.
The BBB recommends keeping records supporting the information you provided on your tax return for three to seven years.
They also recommend keeping brokerage statements, tuition payments, and charitable donation receipts for three to seven years.
The BBB also recommends keeping utility bills and bank deposits and withdrawals for one month until you can verify that the transactions cleared.
Need for volunteers for the preparation of declarations
The AARP Tax-Aide program releases individual federal and state tax returns during tax season.
Volunteers are needed to prepare returns. Volunteers should be computer literate, have good communication/interpersonal skills, be attentive to detail and be willing to learn.
Volunteers are also needed to schedule appointments and to verify taxpayer identification and information prior to assignment to a tax preparer. Training is required and tax preparers must pass an exam to be certified.
To complete an application, go to www.aarp.org/taxaide and click the Become a Volunteer button.
AARP Tax-Aide volunteers must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
For more information, call Paul McElroy at 336-955-1062 or Andy Surasky at 336-777-6189. Leave a message with your name, phone number and the reason for your call.
Email: [email protected]
Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101