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What Papers Can You Toss Out?

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420x316-grad-lee Dee Lee
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner who received a diploma in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Most of us fall into one of three categories; we keep too much of the paper that comes into our homes or there those that try to throw out everything. And of course those that fall in between.

I agree a warranty for a crock pot that is 10 years old is really just a keepsake and can be tossed but a warranty for your new TV should be in your files.

Let’s talk about what the IRS expects us to keep in our files. According to the IRS, you will want to keep records that support your income and deductions on your tax return.

They should be kept until the period of limitations runs out which is normally 3 years from when you filed your return. So you need to keep your 2013 tax information at least thru 2017 or longer.

What that also means is until the IRS can audit your return or assess you an additional tax. Or it can work in your favor too as you can amend your return to claim a credit or a refund.

You will want to keep your tax records for at least 7 years if you filed a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.

If you filed a fraudulent return, basically if you thought you could pull a fast one on the IRS such as not reporting income or deciding not to file a return for some reason, you will want to keep your tax information indefinitely. There is no limitation on when they can come after you and often times they are very good at catching you. Computers and banks leave a paper trail.

We all are responsible for paying our taxes. Taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilized society. My advice, report all of the income and take every deduction you are entitled to. You will sleep better at night.

A word of advice: When tossing old documents if they have pertinent information like your name, credit card number or Social Security number on them use a shredder or a pair scissors on them before you toss them.

One more thing:

ACTIVE MILITARY MEMBERS, VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES
Operation Money Wise Is Designed for Those with Military Backgrounds

The state’s Office of Financial Literacy announced that registration is open for an upcoming “Money Conference” geared specifically toward veterans, active military members, and their families.  The Conference will commence at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 22nd in McKenzie Auditorium at Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley.

The free first-ever Conference, dubbed Operation Money Wise, will provide instruction on matters such as how to sharpen spending and saving skills, how to protect assets from predatory lending practices, and what financial tools and benefits are available to service members and veterans.  State officials said that, particularly given the complexity of the military benefit system, some veterans and service members might not take advantage of the financial benefits available to them or might expect to receive a benefit for which they don’t qualify.

The event is jointly sponsored by Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services, the Massachusetts National Guard, and the Financial Literacy Trust Fund.

A free continental breakfast and box lunch will be made available to people attending the Conference.  For more information and to register, interested parties can visit www.mass.gov/treasury/operationmoneywise or call (617) 367-9333 Ext. 615.

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