On Your Side: Tips to store tax documents and when to shred

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 6:28 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Hopefully you’ve filed your taxes by now. Monday was the deadline.

Now’s a great time to get organized, post-tax season.

Put important documents in a file cabinet or plastic tub. A cardboard box really is not a good idea .because of possible moisture or a fire. Do not store in your basement because of flooding concerns. The attic might not be a good idea either.

“The heat transfer paper. If you store them in an attic and it gets up to 110 degrees it can fade those receipts. So I try to find a nice dry spot, maybe the back of a closet that I don’t use often. I label it and forget about it,” said Tiffany Cossey, with Drury University School of Accountancy.

When can you shred old tax documents?

“The general rule of thumb is if you filed a return and believe you have reported everything correctly, just to be safe, I would keep them for a full seven years. In some cases, you only need to keep them three, but it depends on what type of items you have when you’re reporting,” said Cossey.

If you filed your taxes using an online program, get a copy.

“I can’t tell you the number of calls I get from people who did not keep a copy and it’s very difficult to go back and get a copy later on. Six months or a year later. Sometimes the site will want them to pay an extra fee to get a copy,” said Cossey.

Don’t forget, keep a digital copy too.

Tell a trusted family member or friend where you put these important papers in case something happens to you.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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