Retaining Tax Documents

There are things some people can’t seem to part with, and financial documents seem to be among them.  We’re often asked how long one should keep their tax returns and all of the documents used to create them.

Below is what we recommend to our clients when they ask. You might also consider getting a scanner and storing the files digitally rather than keeping a large amount of paper.

  • Income tax returns and supporting documents should be kept 7 years, after which all but the tax returns themselves and any W2’s can be discarded.
  • Purchase receipts for stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and the like should be kept for 7 years after the asset is sold.

If you’re not sure, ask us, or just hang on to it.

IRS Tips For Disaster Planning

The IRS identified several steps that individuals and businesses should take as safeguards to protect themselves against losses from natural disasters. Many don’t think of planning for a natural disaster until it’s too late. Here is what the IRS recommends.

  1. Create an electronic set of backup records
  2. Document valuables with photographs or videotapes, stored safely offsite
  3. Keep an updated emergency plan on file, and, for businesses, a disaster recovery plan which outline what to do and how to resume operations after a natural disaster.

Taking these few basic steps will make getting things back in order after a natural disaster simpler and quicker.

This Just In: MN 2% Contractor Withholding Repealed

The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced today that, effective June 30, 2012, businesses paying individuals in the construction trades will no longer be required to withhold 2% of the payment and remit it as income tax withholding to the State.

This is great news for all of you in the real estate and construction trades.  It makes conducting business with your contractors after that date a much simpler process.  Payments made prior to June 30 will still be under the old rules, so be sure to withhold as needed for payments made through this date.

Questions?  Give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss the finer points with you.

Small Businesses View of the Economy

As the economy continues to sputter along, the concept of “confidence” in the economy has become a new buzz term.  It indicates what many have long thought, that the health of the economy is more and more influenced by how people feel about it, and somewhat less by the actual components that make it up.

This link takes you to an article on how small business owners view the economy from their seat on the cutting edge of it.

2013 FSA Limits

The 2010 Health Care Act made changes to the amount of contributions allowed to be made to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) for medical expenses. For plan years starting in 2013, the maximum FSA contribution for medical expenses is $2,500.  The limitation will be indexed annually for inflation.