Tax Stuff You Need to Keep in Your Records

November 30, 2006

Be sure and BOOKMARK this for future reference!

Here are some suggestions that I found in The Ernst & Young Tax Guide 2007 of records that you should keep on hand in addition to your income tax return.

I recommend that you…

1. Get yourself a hanging folder and label it for the tax year
2. Get three manila folders labeled with the following three categories: Income, Expense, and Credits
3. File all of your records according to which manila folder they belong in
4. Your accountant will LOVE you


  • Wages & Salaries – Form W-2
  • Interest Income – 1099-INT, 1099-OID or Substitute 1099, such as a broker statement or year-end account summary
  • Dividend Income – 1099-DIV or Substitute 1099, such as a broker statement or year-end account summary
  • State Tax Refunds – Form 1099-G, state income tax return
  • Self-Employment Income – Sales slips, invoices, receipts, sales tax reports, business books and records, 1099-MISC
  • Captial Gains and Losses – 1099-B or Substitute 1099, such as broker statement or year-end account summary showing proceeds from assets of securities or other capital assets (see the book for more important details).
  • IRA Distributions – 1099-R, year-end account summary, Form 8606
  • Pension and Annuities – 1099-R, records of contributions
  • Rents – Checkbook, receipts and canceled checks, and other books and records, 1099-MISC
  • Partnerships, S Corporations – Schedule K-1, record of unused passive activity losses
  • Estates, Trusts – Schedule K-1, copies of last will and testament including codicils, Form 56-Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, Form 1310-Statement of Person Claiming Refund due a Deceased Taxpayer. Again, see the book for more important details.
  • Social Security Benefits – Form SSA-1099
  • Royalties – 1099-MISC
  • Unemployment Compensation – 1099-G
  • Alimony – Divorce settlement papers
  • Miscellaneous Income – 1099-MISC and other records of amounts received


  • Domestic Employee Expense – Canceled checks, state unemployement tax payments; see Chapter 40 – What to Do If You Employ Domestic Help in the book.
  • Self-Employment Expense – Bills, canceled checks, receipts, bank statements, all business books and records
  • IRA Contribution – Year-end account summary, deposit receipt
  • Keogh Contribution – Year-end account summary, deposit receipt
  • Alimony – Divorce settlement papers, canceled alimony checks
  • Medical and Dental Expense – Bills, canceled checks, receipts, pay stubs if employer withholds medical insurance from wages
  • Taxes – Canceled checks, mortgage statements, receipts, Form W-2
  • Interest Expense – Bank statements, mortgage statements (Form 1098), canceled checks
  • Charitable Contributions – Canceled checks, receipts, detailed description of noncash property contributed
  • Miscellaneous Deductions – Receipts, canceled checks, or other documentary evidence (see Chapters 27 – 29 in the book
  • Casualty and Theft Losses – Description of property, photograph of damaged property, receipts, canceled checks, policy and insurance reports
  • Exemptions – Birth certificates, Social Security numbers


  • Child and Dependent Care – Receipts, canceled checks and name, address, and identification number of care provider
  • Estimated Taxes – Canceled checks
  • Foreign Taxes – Form 1099 DIV
  • Withheld Taxes – Forms W-2 and 1099

21 responses to Tax Stuff You Need to Keep in Your Records

  1. I always did the hanging file thing…but each annual tax file tended to bulge and papers spilled/slid out when on my desk…so I recently changed my stripes to being a “binder” gal. I 3-hole punch items as I receive them, use dividers for where they belong (pay stubs, copies of charitable giving checks, etc.), and voila! Organization w/out irritation! And now my valuable file drawer space is freed up—& the binders can be stored in many places…

    Keep safe all you poor souls enduring icy roads tonight! (Including my darling husband…where are you? And where’s the milk!! Just kiddin’ I bought it!)

  2. Great tip! It’s such a nice feeling come tax time to be able to pull out the tax folders and get right to work, rather than hunting through piles of old documents.

    I’ve done it both ways. Taking the time to set aside the folders and file documents as you get them throughout the year is MUCH better than digging around for hours at the end of the year!

  3. but..there is no law stating you have to pay income tax in america…as in, THERE IS NO LAW SAYING YOU HAVE TO PAY INCOME TAX. Try to find it, it doesnt exist.

  4. Hey, chris…try the 16th Amendment.

  5. Chris, you’re wrong. When somebody tried to make this argument at my site, I checked with my accountant and my attorney. They both said, “Of course there are laws that say you have to pay taxes. If you don’t believe it, don’t pay them, and find out what happens.” Wasn’t Al Capone put away for tax evasion?

  6. Chris – try the 16th amendment.

  7. FAQ on that ‘you don’t have to pay taxes’ BS:

  8. that website has so much political bullshit in it an american must have written it for sure. i couldn’t stomach that to finish reading information about taxes.

  9. For my 2006 income tax, I filed Form 8913 – Credit for Federal Telephone Excise Tax Paid. I had added up the federal excise tax charged on nearly 4 years worth of phone bills for 7 different phones. I have it all tabulated in a spreadsheet which is in my tax folder for that year. Do I need to keep the bag full of receipts from which I picked off the amounts?

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