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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money

What do I do with this year's filed tax return?


This year's tax season will soon come and go, and you may be unsure of what you need to do with this year's tax forms. Below are some questions you may have on what you should do with this year's 2013 – filed 1040 tax return.

What should I keep?

With any financial record, especially tax forms – you should keep all of the documents you used to prepare the return as well as a copy of the 1040. These other documents may include things like; W-2's from your job, 1099 statements, forms for interest and dividends, IRA distributions as well other income. (Remember to keep all documents from each person who contributed to your return)

You may also want to keep any documents showing health care expenses, moving expenses, 1098-E for student loan interest, and forms you used to prove your itemized deductions. If there are any other tax documents you received this year – keep those as well. Ask yourself, "Is the record connected to an asset?" If the answer is yes, then consider keeping that document.

Where should I keep it?

I would recommend keeping all of this year's tax documents together in one place either in a file folder or in a closeable envelope with the date on the outside. That way you know that those documents are inside holding the filed tax returns.

In addition, you may want to make sure that these documents are secure – so investing in a waterproof and/or fireproof safe may be one option.

How long should I keep tax returns?

According to the IRS – the longest you should keep your filed tax return is up to 7 years. Just be aware of the following situations; if you did not file a return or filed a fraudulent return you will need to keep your records for the rest of your life. For more complete list on how long you should keep your tax return you can check out www.irs.gov.

After you've filed your 2013 tax return (WHICH IS DUE APRIL 15th, 2014, don't forget!) you'll know what documents you should keep, where you should be keeping it, and for how long!


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