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Time for tax and other record keeping tasks

Flying-Papers
Spring has come and gone here in Central Texas. We're heading into a stretch when afternoon high temperatures are going to push 90 degrees.

But it's still a good time for some spring cleaning, especially since it's going to too hot to be outdoors. And especially if you decided to get your taxes done well ahead of the May 17 Tax Day 2021 deadline.

Over the years, I've posted my post-filing record retention recommendations. My tax document record keeping suggestions following last year's also-delayed Tax Day still are good, even if I say so myself.

True, if you need but don't have your old tax information, you can get at least some of it from the Internal Revenue Service as a tax transcript. But that takes a bit of time and sometimes the IRS system has hiccups that could slow access.

Keeping important documents handy: So it's good to have your necessary tax and other financial records on hand. Again, it's your choice as to how to maintain them.

Since I'm a bit of a record obsessive, I have many in paper form, but also duplicated in a digital format.

While the hubby sometimes (OK, a lot of times) rolls his eyes are the multiple storage systems, I am not alone, either in my backup techniques or simply in encouraging everyone to maintain their personal, financial and tax material.

That's why on this weekend's Saturday Shout Out, I'm suggesting you check out the record keeping advice from some similarly minded folks.

First, FB Canada asks and then gives good answers to the question Do You Know Where Your Financial Documents Are?

FP Canada is a national professional organization that certifies professional financial planners and advances professional financial planning in our in our neighbor to the north. This article was brought to my attention by international #TaxTwitter's Cory Papineau, and it proves that good financial and tax tips know no boundaries.

Second, there's Morningstar's A Financial To-Do List for April. In this article, Susan Dziubinski of Morningstar talks with her colleague Christine Benz, who is the Chicago-based financial services firm's director of personal finance, about key money tasks to take care of this month.

One area of focus is creation of a financial records master directory, which Benz says is perhaps your most important document.

Persisting with the pick-up: After years of having a, shall we say, chaotic record keeping style — OK, it was an out-of-control mess — I finally got my office and personal documents under control last year.

I also updated neglected digital records, which has gotten markedly easier as financial institutions, tax offices, all those who send me bills, and my medical professionals have put records online.

I am happy to say that since that massive office clean up, it's stayed pristine. All my work and tax-related story and blog information now is so much more accessible.

Office before and after
I promise, I didn't just move those stacks of tax material out of camera view! Most of it is in the recycling bags shown above.

The same is true for my personal records. I now file important paper material as it arrives. Ditto for updating the corresponding digital documents.

I highly recommend it. It makes things, tax, personal and professional so much easier. And I'm always for easier!

 

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