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Records Management Tips for Tax Season and Beyond

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Female executive filling out tax forms while sitting at her desk.The April 15th tax filing deadline is here! If you haven’t yet filed, this blog post isn’t meant to send you into fits of panic. Instead, we’re here to give you tips that allow for smooth sailing during tax season and beyond. Read on to learn how to keep your records organized and managed year-round.

Stay Organized

You’ve gathered and given your financial records and tax-related documents to your accountant. Depending on how organized you are, this process may have taken a few minutes or consumed days of your time. And since it’s impossible to know if you’ll be audited in the future, now is time to make sure your current and past year tax records are properly categorized. One can be overwhelmed with a backlog of information to sift through. A qualified records management company can index and inventory your income statements, expense reports and employee W-2s so they’re easy to find.

Update Your Retention Policy

A document retention policy helps you track and manage your information. You should keep tax records for a minimum of three years, but it’s wise to confirm your retention obligation with your accountant. Your records management provider can help you determine whether industry-related retention periods support your retention policy with document storage and shredding services.

Go Paperless

Keeping tabs on hard copy tax documents can be a real headache. Although you must retain hard copies of shareholder documents, promissory notes and contracts, the IRS accepts electronic copies of other supporting tax records. You can scan your tax records with a desktop device or even use a phone app that converts documents to digital images. For a more robust and secure paperless solution, consult with a document scanning provider. They can digitize a large volume of current and archival tax records quickly and make your images instantly available within a document management database.

Shred Outdated Tax Records

While you may need to retain some tax records for as long as you hold your business investments, most supporting tax documents can be shredded after three years. When in doubt, scan copies of originals before shredding them. If you have large volumes of old, outdated tax records, use a one-time purge service to destroy them securely. You receive a Certificate of Destruction when your purge shredding is finished.

For more tax records management tips, please give us a call at 509-586-6090 or complete the form on this page.

CI Information Management provides services to businesses in Tri-Cities, Yakima Valley, Walla Walla, Hermiston, OR, Moses Lake, Wenatchee, and nearly everywhere in between.