Supporting financial documents contain vital information needed for proper recording to your accounting system. It is extremely important to keep these documents to substantiate your accounting entries and tax return filings in the event of an audit. Below are the main types of records you should hang on to:
- Bank statements
- Deposit information
- Canceled checks or other proof of payment/electronic funds transferred
- Petty cash slips for small cash payments
- Accounts receivable and payable
- Credit card receipts
- Cash register tapes
- Payroll records
- Tax filings
- Previous tax returns
- W-2 and 1099 forms
- Any other documentary evidence that supports an item of income, deduction, or credit shown on your tax return
The length of time supporting documents must be kept varies, but as a general rule, most need to be kept for at least three years. However, many have an even longer shelf life. Please click on the link for a complete list of documents and the record retention policy guidelines. (As published on our website, www.tsacpa.com.)
The burden of proof is on the taxpayer to support every amount reported on a tax return. The best approach to recordkeeping is to create a document management system that works best for you, whether it be in a paper-file format or digital version. In fact, a best practice maybe to take the time to upload your receipts into your accounting software. Both the QuickBooks Desktop & QuickBooks Online versions allow you to upload receipts and documents as an attachment to any transaction. Mobile receipt Apps such as: Dext, Expensify or Bill.com also allow you to manually and easily upload receipts and eliminate the need to retrieve those financial records at a later date.
For more information, contact Anne Cordero, Senior General Ledger Specialist, at 716.633.1373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.