Disposing of Old Business Records

>> Monday, February 1, 2010

I sold my sharpening business 6 years ago.  I had all of my business records in file folders within cardboard storage boxes and moved them with me when we moved to Cedar Ridge.  I knew that the IRS recommends records be kept for various lengths of time.  I again reviewed their recommendations.  Some seem a bit ridiculous.  For example, if you file a fraudulent tax return you must keep your records indefinitely!  Between you and me, if I were to file a fraudulent return I don’t believe I’d want to hang onto records that would prove it.

Some records should be kept for 1 year, some for 3 years, some for 7 years and a few indefinitely.  One web site stated that it was a matter of individual evaluation.  After 6 years I believe that most of my records can be discarded.  This morning I began the process with my oldest records from 1998 and 1999.  I tried to be totally above board with my business, kept meticulous records and didn’t try to claim any questionable deductions so I can’t foresee any questions coming at this late a date.  I may, just may, keep the last year of records until the end of this year.  7 years will be complete for that year as well.  We’ll see.  When I get into the mood of throwing things away I probably better keep at it.  It is too easy for me to hang onto everything.


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