Advice to make your taxes less taxing

I realize that writing about tax tips for the future a few days from the federal income tax filing deadline is heaping coals upon the heads of millions but this is from the IRS, so we have to pay attention. Unless we’re in the 1%, and then we can pay people to pay attention. (I’m filing this post under public service announcements.)

Here are five tips straight from the latest IRS Tax Tips bulletin.

  1. Normally, tax records should be kept for three years.
  2. Some documents — such as records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRA and business or rental property — should be kept longer.
  3. 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.
  4. Records you should keep include bills, credit card and other receipts, invoices, mileage logs, canceled, imaged or substitute checks, proofs of payment, and any other records to support deductions or credits you claim on your return.
  5. For more information on what kinds of records to keep, see IRS Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals, which is available on the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).