Moving is stressful, but it does offer a chance to get rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff, including financial papers and documents. While you’re cleaning out your cupboards and closets and sorting through your belongings, you may as well open your file cabinet and get rid of all the paperwork you no longer need to hang onto. The IRS only requires you to keep your last three years of personal income tax returns. The documentation you used to prepare your returns should also be kept for three years.
If you own a small business, you would also have financial records for your business to consider. In most cases a small business owner only needs to keep three years of their tax returns plus the documentation used in preparing those returns. This would include financial statements, proof of the purchase of assets as well as disposals and stock issues and/or losses. If you’ve claimed a loss on your tax return, whether it’s a bad debt or worthless securities, those records need to be kept for seven years. If your company has employees, all employment records need to be kept for a minimum of four years.
There are shredding services that offer their services free to people in the community several times throughout the year. You should take advantage of this and safely shred any paperwork that’s no longer needed. It would be best to personally move your personal financial records, tax returns, any company paperwork, your passports, social security cards, insurance records, etc. rather than sending these documents on the moving truck.
If you are moving your business to a new location once you’ve filed your tax return, let the IRS know of your new address. You can do this in writing, electronically or verbally. Your written notification should be sent to the IRS Center that corresponds to your old address using IRS Form 8822, which is the Change of Address form. You will need to inform them of the Social Security number of all the people you had in your filing or include your company’s EIN number.
Other personal documents that might be wise to personally move rather than putting them on the moving truck would be your wills, deeds, loan papers to include mortgage documents for both the new and old homes, any bills of sale that establish the home you’re selling’s value, plus bank and investment documents. It would be smart to store all of these electronically on a thumb drive, just to be safe. Unless you are confident about the level of security on the cloud storage you use, think about storing your personal financial information elsewhere.
If you are moving items of exceptional value you should definitely document this electronically by taking a photo of your valuables with either the appraisal or the bill of sale. You can save each photo with its documentation on a thumb drive. If you were declaring high value items with your mover (over $100 per lb.) you would be able to establish your items’ true value on the declaration. If something happens and an item is damaged or lost, you can easily establish the item’s pre-move value.
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Get Your Move On LLC.
1430 East Hadley Street – Suite 110
Phoenix, Arizona 85034