How do I organize my documents and how long should I keep them

How do I organize my documents and how long should I keep them

 Many truckers are lazy when organizing all their papers, with no exception. At this occasion, I will explain some suggestions on how to organize your important documents such as your tax returns; your receipts; anything you consider relevant; and how to appropriately archive it. Remember, we could always lose these documents for different reasons like moving to a new home after a divorce; they get wet; become lost; or burn in a fire.  

There are many truckers who archive their tax returns for more than 30 years as well as all their related documents, such as income and expenses. This is not necessary anymore; these files don’t need to be archived for so many years. However sometimes there are exceptions, like when you must keep documents indefinitely until you comply with the tax law.  

Based on the above, I will indicate different situations and the number of years you need to keep your documents:  

Regularly, you should keep your files for three years from the date you sent your tax return or two years after paying taxes.  

If you have not filed your tax return or if you think that you have sent a fraudulent return, the IRS recommends keeping the receipts and all documents of those years indefinitely. However, if for some reason you did not report all of your income, then you should keep your records for seven years.  

The documents related to the purchase of your trucks, trailers, and other equipment must be keep until the equipment is sold.  

How to archive your records:  

Today, with the use of computers, you can save all your documents efficiently. You can also implement the use of the scanner and make a copy of most documents. For example, you can save your bank and credit card statements and the payment receipts of these cards. You can create folders and categorize expenses. You can also receive all receipts and bank reports electronically and save them directly on your computer and avoid receiving it by mail.  

If you pay for repairs or other expenses in cash, we recommend you keep it physically in folders.  

Implementing a system to archive documents on the computer could help, especially in emergencies; you can look for all the information about your taxes directly on your computer instead of boxes full of documents. Today the files are handled on the cloud for safety. If your computer falls off and your hard drive breaks, your files will be safer in the cloud, a storage that is difficult to be damaged. It is safer than everything else.

 Have a good trip.

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