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Summer Check-In: Your Guide to Tax Record Keeping


Hey there, San Tan Valley residents! As we're soaking up the summer sun, the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) wants to remind us all about the importance of maintaining our tax records. It may not be the most exciting topic, but it's a crucial part of managing our finances.

Imagine this: you have a dedicated folder for all your tax-related documents, neatly organized. Not only does it make tax season less of a headache, but it also becomes your financial safety net if the taxman ever comes knocking with an audit or notice. And don't worry, we have some helpful tips to make this task a little less daunting.

First, let's talk about how long you need to hang onto those papers. This period, called the "statute of limitations," varies depending on the type of tax and situation:

  • Transaction Privilege Tax, Withholding Tax, and Income Tax: Keep records for 4 years from the due date or when the return is filed, whichever is later.
  • If you filed a claim for a loss from worthless securities or a bad debt deduction, hold onto those records for 7 years.
  • Employment tax records? Keep them for at least 7 years after the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.
  • Corporate taxpayers with net operating loss carryovers might need to keep their records for up to 20 years.

Did you forget to file? Or maybe you left out more than a quarter of your income? If so, the statute of limitations could stretch to seven years. But remember, if you file a fraudulent return or fail to file one at all, there's no statute of limitations protecting you.

What about refunds? You generally have 4 years from the date you filed the original return (or the due date if you didn't file) to claim a refund. However, if your claim relates to a bad debt deduction or the worthlessness of a security, you have 7 years to make a claim.

If you run a business, ADOR isn't picky about your bookkeeping method, as long as you keep detailed records and all source documents. They also suggest conducting self-audits and compliance checks from time to time.

Now, let's say you've done the waiting game and your documents are no longer needed for tax purposes. Before you gleefully toss them in the trash, make sure there's no other reason to keep them. If there isn't, be sure to shred them securely to prevent any identity theft. Pro-tip: Check if your local government office hosts free shred-a-thons!

Lastly, while you're enjoying the summer season, why not take a moment to update your contact information with the ADOR? It's a great way to ensure they can reach you in case of any questions or discrepancies.

For all the nitty-gritty details about the statute of limitations and record keeping, check out Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) § 42-1104.

So there you have it, folks! A fresh perspective on tax record keeping. Consider it part of your summer financial check-in – a step towards financial organization and peace of mind. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
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Saturday, 22 June 2024

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