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Record retention requirements for paid tax preparers: what do you keep?

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Level 2
last updated ‎December 07, 2019 5:59 AM

In years past, I would make scanned copies of everything client's gave me, all their 1099s/W2/worksheets etc.  This can be very time consuming.  What do tax preparers HAVE to keep for their files? I believe 8879 is a must.  But do we have to keep anything else?  With the busy season, I'm trying to lower the amount of time on the mundane tasks. 

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Level 15
last updated ‎December 07, 2019 5:59 AM

TAXOH keeps what is required.  I keep copies of all 1099s, 1098s, and other official tax forms as well as anything of significance that the client provides.  If a notice shows up two years from know, odds are good that my client has no idea where that documentation is, but I do. 

ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.

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Level 15
last updated ‎December 07, 2019 5:59 AM

TAXOH keeps what is required.  I keep copies of all 1099s, 1098s, and other official tax forms as well as anything of significance that the client provides.  If a notice shows up two years from know, odds are good that my client has no idea where that documentation is, but I do. 

ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.

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Level 9
Level 9
last updated ‎December 07, 2019 5:59 AM
Most of my clients have their tax return copy envelope that I gave them that has all of their documents and a copy of the return.  They have no idea what is inside the envelope but would have it if needed.
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Level 2
last updated ‎December 07, 2019 5:59 AM
that is understandable. You only make copies of what you need to, and give everything else to them. In case of an audit, they can just bring in their folder.
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Level 9
Level 9
last updated ‎December 07, 2019 5:59 AM
Like I said above just W2'S 1099R'S  and anything else that has withholding I keep also.
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Level 15
last updated ‎December 07, 2019 5:59 AM
I give them a folder inside an envelope, but yet anytime they need a copy of their return for bank financing or some other romantic adventure, they call me for a copy because they can't find that envelope :cry::cry:
ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Level 10
last updated ‎December 07, 2019 5:59 AM
I added a clause to my engagement letter a few years ago that's cut down on this considerably:  "Since a copy is already provided to you upon completion of your tax return, there will be a $20 charge for additional tax return copies provided in either paper or electronic formats."  I think a few people actually read these things before they sign them 'cause it did cut down on the requests for copies.
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Level 15
last updated ‎December 07, 2019 5:59 AM
I keep on thinking about adding that fee, but I haven't done it yet.  Maybe next year :smile::smile:
ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Level 10
last updated ‎December 07, 2019 5:59 AM
I'm pretty sure I've never actually charged it to anyone, but I reserve the right to!
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Level 9
Level 9
last updated ‎December 07, 2019 5:59 AM

I only keep W2'S,  1099R's and anything else that has withholding. 

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