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Orange County tax attorneys know that you may not be thinking very hard about your tax return this summer, but summer is still a good time to start planning for next years’ filing and to make sure your tax records are well-organized. Maintaining accurate records, even in the summertime, will make filing your return much easier and will help you remember all the transactions you made with tax consequences during the year.

If you’re not thinking about filing tax returns, you’re certainly not thinking about being audited. But keeping well-organized records also ensures that you can answer questions if you are audited or receive an IRS notice.

In most instances, the IRS does not require you to keep records in any special way. Generally, you should keep all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return.

If you are a business owner, you must keep all your employment tax records for at least…

four years after the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later. Important documents business owners should keep include:

  • Gross receipts: cash register tapes, bank deposit slips, receipt books, invoices, credit card charge slips and Forms 1099-MISC
  • Proof of purchases: canceled checks, credit card sales slips and invoices, cash register receipts
  • Documents to verify your assets: purchase and sales invoices, canceled checks, real estate closing statements
  • Expense documents: Account statements, credit card slips, invoices and petty cash slips for small cash payments

Source: “Keeping Good Records Reduces Stress at Tax Time” August 16, 2010