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Having an organized filing system is important and well worth the effort it takes.
Here are some tips that may help you get started.
Nashville, Ark. – Let’s face it. We have all misplaced an important paper, which caused
panic until we found it. Births, deaths, fires, annual taxes, and other life-changing
events all require specific paperwork and finding this paperwork when it is needed
can be critical. These types of documents are not needed often, but having quick access
to them is important. Replacement of them could take weeks or months to replace when,
many times, you need the information now.
Getting organized is not easy, but it is well worth the effort. Organizing
and keeping records in a business-like manner can save time, trouble, money and frustration.
It takes time and commitment to get family records in order.
Having an organized filing system is also important when preparing to
file the annual tax forms.
Before filing, the IRS urges taxpayers to file a complete and accurate
tax return by making sure all documents are accounted for, including the previous
year’s tax return. This includes forms W-2 from employers and forms 1099 from banks
and other payers. Being organized will help avoid refund delays, penalties and the
need to file an amended return.
Record keeping systems can be as elaborate as a home office or as simple
as a file box. Simple filing cabinets, accordion folders, or even a storage chest
that fits under the bed are inexpensive, yet efficient ways to keep documents. Records
may be kept at home or in a safe deposit box at a bank.
Organizing a manageable record keeping system starts with three easy steps:
Home files should contain items necessary for family and household operation
Generally, these records, including appliance warranties, should be kept
a minimum of three years or unless you still own the product. Older records and information
can be in archived files, located in a safe, less convenient area of your home. Separate
them from current files.
All records that are difficult to replace, or irreplaceable, should be
stored in a safe deposit box. These items may include birth certificates or adoption
records, vehicle titles/bills of sale, death certificates, and marriage license. Safe
deposit box rentals are available from most financial institutions and may be tax
deductible if investment documents or securities are stored there.
Once you have your system in place, you will need to review it periodically.
Once a year, at tax time, is a great time to sort through your active files and discard
records you no longer need. These may include deposit/withdrawal slips, receipts not
needed for tax purposes, and utility bills. When discarding, make sure you are doing
it in a way that will protect your personal information. Shred or burn them.
In most cases, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has three years to audit
federal income tax returns. All receipts, statements, or other documentation for income
tax purposes should be kept with the specific year’s tax records. Receipts are important
because the IRS does not accept cancelled checks as proof of payment. In unusual cases,
this limit does not apply. If you failed to report more than 25 percent of your gross
income, the IRS has six years to collect the tax and begin legal proceedings. There
is no limit if you failed to file a return or willfully filed a fraudulent return.
You might want to visit https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-long-should-i-keep-records for more information. For more information on setting up a personal filing system,
contact the Howard County Cooperative Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or visit our
office located on the second floor of the courthouse. Ask for the fact sheet, “Home
Filing System”. You might want to check out the other fact sheets available to help
answer your financial questions.
Howard and Pike County Extension Services will be offering a two-part
“Estate Planning” workshop on February 22 and March 1 in Murfreesboro from 6:00 –
8:30 p.m. A registration fee of $10 per person or $15 for couples (spouses) will be
charged to cover program costs. A dinner will be served each night. For more information
call the Howard County Extension Service at the number above.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal
opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.
Howard County Cooperative Extension Service is offering a four part basic
cooking program available to anyone with children in a public school in the county
free of charge. This program will be held the first two Tuesdays in February and March.
This recipe was demonstrated at the first session and was enjoyed by all.
2 Tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon grill seasoning
1 large head broccoli, cut into long thin spears
Non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place olive oil, garlic, chili powder and
grill seasoning in the bottom of a large bowl and add the broccoli spears. Toss to
coat the broccoli. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place broccoli
on the baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees until the ends are crisp and brown and
the stalks are tender, 17-20 minutes. Yields: 6 servings
Nutrition Information per Serving: Calories-150, Fat-6 g, Protein- 7 g,
Carbohydrates – 22 g, Fiber – 4 g, Sodium – 360 mg
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.