Keeping Good Records is a Serious Advantage

by Lynnea Bylund on October 16, 2010 · 31 comments

Keeping Good Records

You can avoid headaches at tax time by keeping track of your receipts and other records throughout the year. Good record-keeping will help you remember the various transactions you made during the year, which in turn may make filing your return less, well, taxing.

Records help you document the deductions you’ve claimed on your return. You’ll need this documentation should the IRS select your return for examination. Normally, tax records should be kept for three years, but some documents – such as records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRA, and business or rental property – should be kept longer.

In most cases, the IRS does not require you to keep records in any special manner. Generally speaking, however, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return:

  • Bills
  • Credit card and other receipts
  • Invoices
  • Mileage logs
  • Canceled, imaged, or substitute checks or any other proof of payment
  • Any other records to support deductions or credits you claim on your return

Good record-keeping throughout the year saves you time and effort at tax time when organizing and completing your return.


1 Suchmaschine October 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Thank you for your help! I am going to keep much better records now!

2 Spiele Neuheiten November 2, 2010 at 10:22 am

Thank you, this was very helpful to my QuickBooks, I am really fan of your blog.

3 Teena Rippeon November 3, 2010 at 10:54 am

Wow! Thank you! Great info and guidance! I will keep better records here on.

4 Sonny Tao November 3, 2010 at 11:06 am

You made some good points there. I did a reevaluation of my own business records and filing. Thanks!

5 Beth S. November 6, 2010 at 6:05 am

Its just common sense! Keep good records!

6 Prophete Fahrrad November 6, 2010 at 7:59 am

Wholeheartedly concur – keep good records, always!

7 Lida Dai November 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

Thank you for this informative primer. Good record keeping NOW!

8 Adelaide Roule November 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Hi, i just thought i’d post and let you know your blogs layout is really messed up on the K-Melonbrowser. Anyhow keep up the good work. Good record keeping is very important to a business’s success.

9 Julene Fortner November 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Thank you for this gem of a post. Good record-keeping is so important.

10 Rob Booker November 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Mea culpa, I used to keep very poor records, but I’m getting better. Thanks!

11 han zügler November 20, 2010 at 11:23 am

Good piece on records keeping.

12 Saul Aulinsky November 20, 2010 at 11:11 am

There is obviously a lot more to know about keeping good records, but you made it simple..

13 Branchenbuch November 20, 2010 at 11:39 am

Great primer on keeping good records – das is goot!

14 Maria Andros November 29, 2010 at 9:05 am

Thanks for the post on record keeping, very helpful, keep posting good stuff!

15 BackJackLink December 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Wow! what great ideas for getting and staying organized!

16 Frau Potenz December 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Thank you for helping me ORGANIZE LOL!

17 Vanna Emposte January 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I’ve recently started a business and the small business and quickbooks information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time and work.

18 Randy Duchaine January 23, 2011 at 7:34 am

Wow! I did my records are organized, thanks!

19 Gregoria Sutcliff January 23, 2011 at 2:48 pm

What a great tip sheet on keeping good records and why. I actually straightened mine out thanks to your post.

20 Viacomitus Sam January 27, 2011 at 4:28 am

Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I want to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and certainly not seem to get something done.

21 Nally Zoe January 29, 2011 at 1:12 am

This is so true. My records were a rats nest of papers until I learned to focus my organizational skills.

22 Andrew A. Sailer February 5, 2011 at 1:13 am

Keep good records! nuff said! LOL

23 Reptile Man February 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Hi – really good site you have established. I enjoyed reading this posting. and now my records are better kept using your system. I did want to publish a remark to tell you that the design of this site is very aesthetically pleasing.

24 Catalyst QuickBooks Editor February 17, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Thank you for your feedback and compliment, Mr. Reptile.

25 Striker Jones February 18, 2011 at 1:05 am

Keeping good records for at least 3 years, I believe, is mandatory, but what do you do after that? Shred them? Scan them?

26 Cornelius Collado April 10, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Awesome job on the blog, thanks!

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28 buy cipro online cheap April 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I added your blog to bookmarks. And i’ll read your articles more often! Before this, it would be possible for the government to arrest you just based on whatever you were saying, if they didn’t like it.

29 how to buy generic amoxil April 28, 2011 at 1:33 am

I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

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