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Free state tax preparation sites 1. Free state tax preparation sites   Importance of Records Table of Contents Introduction Topics - This chapter discusses: Useful Items - You may want to see: Benefits of Recordkeeping Kinds of Records To Keep How Long To Keep Records Introduction A farmer, like other taxpayers, must keep records to prepare an accurate income tax return and determine the correct amount of tax. Free state tax preparation sites This chapter explains the benefits of keeping records, what kinds of records you must keep, and how long you must keep them for federal tax purposes. Free state tax preparation sites Tax records are not the only type of records you need to keep for your farming business. Free state tax preparation sites You should also keep records that measure your farm's financial performance. Free state tax preparation sites This publication only discusses tax records. Free state tax preparation sites The Farm Financial Standards Council has produced a publication that provides a detailed explanation of the recommendations of the Council for financial reporting and analysis. Free state tax preparation sites For information on recordkeeping, you can purchase and download Financial Guidelines for Agricultural Producers at www. Free state tax preparation sites ffsc. Free state tax preparation sites org. Free state tax preparation sites For more information, contact Countryside Marketing, Inc. Free state tax preparation sites in the following manner. Free state tax preparation sites Call 262-253-6902. Free state tax preparation sites Send a fax to 262-253-6903. Free state tax preparation sites Write to: Farm Financial Standards Council N78 W14573 Appleton Ave. Free state tax preparation sites , #287 Menomonee Falls, WI 53051. Free state tax preparation sites Topics - This chapter discusses: Benefits of recordkeeping Kinds of records to keep How long to keep records Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 51 (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses See chapter 16 for information about getting publications. Free state tax preparation sites Benefits of Recordkeeping Everyone in business, including farmers, must keep appropriate records. Free state tax preparation sites Recordkeeping will help you do the following. Free state tax preparation sites Monitor the progress of your farming business. Free state tax preparation sites   You need records to monitor the progress of your farming business. Free state tax preparation sites Records can show whether your business is improving, which items are selling, or what changes you need to make. Free state tax preparation sites Records can help you make better decisions that may increase the likelihood of business success. Free state tax preparation sites Prepare your financial statements. Free state tax preparation sites   You need records to prepare accurate financial statements. Free state tax preparation sites These include income (profit and loss) statements and balance sheets. Free state tax preparation sites These statements can help you in dealing with your bank or creditors and help you to manage your farm business. Free state tax preparation sites Identify source of receipts. Free state tax preparation sites   You will receive money or property from many sources. Free state tax preparation sites Your records can identify the source of your receipts. Free state tax preparation sites You need this information to separate farm from nonfarm receipts and taxable from nontaxable income. Free state tax preparation sites Keep track of deductible expenses. Free state tax preparation sites   You may forget expenses when you prepare your tax return unless you record them when they occur. Free state tax preparation sites Prepare your tax returns. Free state tax preparation sites   You need records to prepare your tax return. Free state tax preparation sites For example, your records must support the income, expenses, and credits you report. Free state tax preparation sites Generally, these are the same records you use to monitor your farming business and prepare your financial statements. Free state tax preparation sites Support items reported on tax returns. Free state tax preparation sites   You must keep your business records available at all times for inspection by the IRS. Free state tax preparation sites If the IRS examines any of your tax returns, you may be asked to explain the items reported. Free state tax preparation sites A complete set of records will speed up the examination. Free state tax preparation sites Kinds of Records To Keep Except in a few cases, the law does not require any specific kind of records. Free state tax preparation sites You can choose any recordkeeping system suited to your farming business that clearly shows, for example, your income and expenses. Free state tax preparation sites You should set up your recordkeeping system using an accounting method that clearly shows your income for your tax year. Free state tax preparation sites See  chapter 2. Free state tax preparation sites If you are in more than one business, you should keep a complete and separate set of records for each business. Free state tax preparation sites A corporation should keep minutes of board of directors' meetings. Free state tax preparation sites Your recordkeeping system should include a summary of your business transactions. Free state tax preparation sites This summary is ordinarily made in accounting journals and ledgers. Free state tax preparation sites For example, they must show your gross income, as well as your deductions and credits. Free state tax preparation sites In addition, you must keep supporting documents. Free state tax preparation sites Purchases, sales, payroll, and other transactions you have in your business generate supporting documents such as invoices and receipts. Free state tax preparation sites These documents contain the information you need to record in your journals and ledgers. Free state tax preparation sites It is important to keep these documents because they support the entries in your journals and ledgers and on your tax return. Free state tax preparation sites Keep them in an orderly fashion and in a safe place. Free state tax preparation sites For instance, organize them by year and type of income or expense. Free state tax preparation sites Electronic records. Free state tax preparation sites   All requirements that apply to hard copy books and records also apply to electronic storage systems that maintain tax books and records. Free state tax preparation sites When you replace hard copy books and records, you must maintain the electronic storage systems for as long as they are material to the administration of tax law. Free state tax preparation sites An electronic storage system is any system for preparing or keeping your records either by electronic imaging or by transfer to an electronic storage media. Free state tax preparation sites The electronic storage system must index, store, preserve, retrieve and reproduce the electronically stored books and records in legible format. Free state tax preparation sites All electronic storage systems must provide a complete and accurate record of your data that is accessible to the IRS. Free state tax preparation sites Electronic storage systems are also subject to the same controls and retention guidelines as those imposed on your original hard copy books and records. Free state tax preparation sites The original hard copy books and records may be destroyed provided that the electronic storage system has been tested to establish that the hard copy books and records are being reproduced in compliance with IRS requirements for an electronic storage system and procedures are established to ensure continued compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. Free state tax preparation sites You still have the responsibility of retaining any other books and records that are required to be retained. Free state tax preparation sites The IRS may test your electronic storage system, including the equipment used, indexing methodology, software and retrieval capabilities. Free state tax preparation sites This test is not considered an examination and the results must be shared with you. Free state tax preparation sites If your electronic storage system meets the requirements mentioned earlier, you will be in compliance. Free state tax preparation sites If not, you may be subject to penalties for non-compliance, unless you continue to maintain your original hard copybooks and records in a manner that allows you and the IRS to determine your correct tax. Free state tax preparation sites For details on electronic storage system requirements, see Rev. Free state tax preparation sites Proc. Free state tax preparation sites 97-22. Free state tax preparation sites You can find Rev. Free state tax preparation sites Proc. Free state tax preparation sites 97-22 on page 9 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 1997-13 at  www. Free state tax preparation sites irs. Free state tax preparation sites gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb97-13. Free state tax preparation sites pdf. Free state tax preparation sites Travel, transportation, entertainment, and gift expenses. Free state tax preparation sites   Specific recordkeeping rules apply to these expenses. Free state tax preparation sites For more information, see Publication 463. Free state tax preparation sites Employment taxes. Free state tax preparation sites   There are specific employment tax records you must keep. Free state tax preparation sites For a list, see Publication 51 (Circular A). Free state tax preparation sites Excise taxes. Free state tax preparation sites   See How To Claim a Credit or Refund in chapter 14 for the specific records you must keep to verify your claim for credit or refund of excise taxes on certain fuels. Free state tax preparation sites Assets. Free state tax preparation sites   Assets are the property, such as machinery and equipment, you own and use in your business. Free state tax preparation sites You must keep records to verify certain information about your business assets. Free state tax preparation sites You need records to figure your annual depreciation deduction and the gain or (loss) when you sell the assets. Free state tax preparation sites Your records should show all the following. Free state tax preparation sites When and how you acquired the asset. Free state tax preparation sites Purchase price. Free state tax preparation sites Cost of any improvements. Free state tax preparation sites Section 179 deduction taken. Free state tax preparation sites Deductions taken for depreciation. Free state tax preparation sites Deductions taken for casualty losses, such as losses resulting from fires or storms. Free state tax preparation sites How you used the asset. Free state tax preparation sites When and how you disposed of the asset. Free state tax preparation sites Selling price. Free state tax preparation sites Expenses of sale. Free state tax preparation sites   The following are examples of records that may show this information. Free state tax preparation sites Purchase and sales invoices. Free state tax preparation sites Real estate closing statements. Free state tax preparation sites Canceled checks. Free state tax preparation sites Bank statements. Free state tax preparation sites Financial account statements as proof of payment. Free state tax preparation sites   If you do not have a canceled check, you may be able to prove payment with certain financial account statements prepared by financial institutions. Free state tax preparation sites These include account statements prepared for the financial institution by a third party. Free state tax preparation sites These account statements must be legible. Free state tax preparation sites The following table lists acceptable account statements. Free state tax preparation sites IF payment is by. Free state tax preparation sites . Free state tax preparation sites . Free state tax preparation sites THEN the statement must show the. Free state tax preparation sites . Free state tax preparation sites . Free state tax preparation sites Check Check number. Free state tax preparation sites Amount. Free state tax preparation sites Payee's name. Free state tax preparation sites Date the check amount was posted to the account by the financial institution. Free state tax preparation sites Electronic funds  transfer Amount transferred. Free state tax preparation sites Payee's name. Free state tax preparation sites Date the transfer was posted to the account by the financial institution. Free state tax preparation sites Credit card Amount charged. Free state tax preparation sites Payee's name. Free state tax preparation sites Transaction date. Free state tax preparation sites    Proof of payment of an amount, by itself, does not establish you are entitled to a tax deduction. Free state tax preparation sites You should also keep other documents, such as credit card sales slips and invoices, to show that you also incurred the cost. Free state tax preparation sites Tax returns. Free state tax preparation sites   Keep copies of your filed tax returns. Free state tax preparation sites They help in preparing future tax returns and making computations if you file an amended return. Free state tax preparation sites Keep copies of your information returns such as Form 1099, Schedule K-1, and Form W-2. Free state tax preparation sites How Long To Keep Records You must keep your records as long as they may be needed for the administration of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code. Free state tax preparation sites Keep records that support an item of income or a deduction appearing on a return until the period of limitations for the return runs out. Free state tax preparation sites A period of limitations is the period of time after which no legal action can be brought. Free state tax preparation sites Generally, that means you must keep your records for at least 3 years from when your tax return was due or filed or within 2 years of the date the tax was paid, whichever is later. Free state tax preparation sites However, certain records must be kept for a longer period of time, as discussed below. Free state tax preparation sites Employment taxes. Free state tax preparation sites   If you have employees, you must keep all employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later. Free state tax preparation sites Assets. Free state tax preparation sites   Keep records relating to property until the period of limitations expires for the year in which you dispose of the property in a taxable disposition. Free state tax preparation sites You must keep these records to figure any depreciation, amortization, or depletion deduction and to figure your basis for computing gain or (loss) when you sell or otherwise dispose of the property. Free state tax preparation sites   You may need to keep records relating to the basis of property longer than the period of limitation. Free state tax preparation sites Keep those records as long as they are important in figuring the basis of the original or replacement property. Free state tax preparation sites Generally, this means as long as you own the property and, after you dispose of it, for the period of limitations that applies to you. Free state tax preparation sites For example, if you received property in a nontaxable exchange, you must keep the records for the old property, as well as for the new property, until the period of limitations expires for the year in which you dispose of the new property in a taxable disposition. Free state tax preparation sites For more information on basis, see chapter 6. Free state tax preparation sites Records for nontax purposes. Free state tax preparation sites   When your records are no longer needed for tax purposes, do not discard them until you check to see if you have to keep them longer for other purposes. Free state tax preparation sites For example, your insurance company or creditors may require you to keep them longer than the IRS does. Free state tax preparation sites Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications