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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Guy
    • By MSE Guy 2nd Feb 10, 11:10 AM
    • 1,628Posts
    • 1,255Thanks
    MSE Guy
    MSE News: Time to bin old tax records
    • #1
    • 2nd Feb 10, 11:10 AM
    MSE News: Time to bin old tax records 2nd Feb 10 at 11:10 AM
    This is the discussion thread for the following MSE news story:

    "February is the month millions of employed and self-employed taxpayers can chuck out dusty old paperwork ..."

    Read the full story:
    Time to bin old tax records

Page 1
    • Old Wrinkly
    • By Old Wrinkly 2nd Feb 10, 4:30 PM
    • 4,918 Posts
    • 8,450 Thanks
    Old Wrinkly
    • #2
    • 2nd Feb 10, 4:30 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Feb 10, 4:30 PM
    What is the position if you are Unemployed or Retired?
    • stphnstevey
    • By stphnstevey 2nd Feb 10, 6:48 PM
    • 2,977 Posts
    • 488 Thanks
    stphnstevey
    • #3
    • 2nd Feb 10, 6:48 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Feb 10, 6:48 PM
    Why? Why? Why?

    No news recently? Have to bulk out the number of articles?

    Why would you tell people to bin tax records!!!!
    • Gers
    • By Gers 2nd Feb 10, 6:50 PM
    • 7,304 Posts
    • 49,742 Thanks
    Gers
    • #4
    • 2nd Feb 10, 6:50 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Feb 10, 6:50 PM
    Why? Why? Why?

    No news recently? Have to bulk out the number of articles?

    Why would you tell people to bin tax records!!!!
    Originally posted by stphnstevey

    Cos it's helpful - I thought that I had to keep 7 years of info so it's really good to hear that I only need 22 months, so will be spending this weekend shredding.



    No need to be so mealy mouthed! If it's not relevant/helpful/useful to you just move on.
    • Lansdowne
    • By Lansdowne 2nd Feb 10, 9:52 PM
    • 550 Posts
    • 273 Thanks
    Lansdowne
    • #5
    • 2nd Feb 10, 9:52 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Feb 10, 9:52 PM
    I had a letter this week from the tax office, replying to a letter I wrote 32 months ago and asking for more information. I am not self-employed.
  • chrisdryden6
    • #6
    • 3rd Feb 10, 8:46 AM
    • #6
    • 3rd Feb 10, 8:46 AM
    I was employed and retired six years ago,I have just had a bill from the tax office for unpaid tax dating from 2003-2004 which had been overlooked until a new computer program picked it up !(they haven't demanded it before.)
    They told me they can go back six years,so I nearly didn't have to pay it!!
  • canyouseethemoon
    • #7
    • 3rd Feb 10, 10:51 AM
    • #7
    • 3rd Feb 10, 10:51 AM
    Essential to keep ordered clear records. I was spot checked for 00/01 by someone at Rev & Cust who'd obviously never spot checked an actor before and didn't know what he was on about. It was not a happy time but my tidy and full records helped prevent confusion. My accountant advises, whatever the legal minimum requirement, to keep records for ten years.
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 3rd Feb 10, 11:35 AM
    • 11,509 Posts
    • 22,199 Thanks
    Pennywise
    • #8
    • 3rd Feb 10, 11:35 AM
    • #8
    • 3rd Feb 10, 11:35 AM
    Just because "you can", please don't go and shred everything just because the time limits gone by. Having the paperwork may well help your interests in the future for many reasons. What you need to do is "weed" rather than shred. If you've got, say, six files of papers for say 02/3, aim to weed it down to 1 file of papers that may come in handy one day. By all means get rid of the small and insignificant stuff, i.e. postage, stationery, petrol receipts, etc., but you really should keep the bigger stuff for a bit longer "just in case", i.e. bank statements, P45/P60s, bills for cars/equipment you still own, legal paperwork, i.e. buying/selling a house, divorce, death of relative, wills, and for major building works/improvements to your properties. A few reasons to weed instead of shred:-

    1. HMRC can go back longer if they have grounds for belief of tax evasion so if you've kept at least some of the more important records, you are better placed to defend yourself.
    2. You never know when you'll need proof of purchase for your equipment, car, properties, etc - keeping it will help you make claims if things go wrong - insurance companies sometimes insist on purchase invoices when you make a claim.
    3. Your original purchase details and proof of property improvements will be needed when you come to sell your property if it's been used for business or has been rented out - i.e. for capital gains tax computations - in such cases, the time limits apply from date of sale, not date of purchase.
    4. Re wills/death, etc., when the second spouse dies, you'll probably need full details of the first spouse's death, i.e. probate, will, etc., both for inheritance tax purposes and to reduce/avoid complications and delay when selling property in joint names that passed to the survivor on death.
    5. Businesses must keep employers liability insurance details for ever.

    So, its a little simplistic to say "bin it all" after the specified time period. What you need to do is have a "weeding" policy and also have a "permanent" file for everything that you should really be keeping forever, such as legal papers. All this is for your own good, so even though Hector may let you off the hook in the short term, shredding too much could cause you a lot of hassle and maybe cost in the long term.
  • CosmicTen
    • #9
    • 3rd Feb 10, 1:47 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Feb 10, 1:47 PM
    There is a nice mid-way solution. Scan every document in over the course of a month in a high resolution format and store a couple of copies on DVD, then shred. It'll take a while but you'll be covering yourself and getting rid of all that paperwork.

    Anyone seen any sort of automatic scanners rather than a flat bed?
    • samwsmith1
    • By samwsmith1 3rd Feb 10, 9:28 PM
    • 912 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    samwsmith1
    There is a nice mid-way solution. Scan every document in over the course of a month in a high resolution format and store a couple of copies on DVD, then shred. It'll take a while but you'll be covering yourself and getting rid of all that paperwork.

    Anyone seen any sort of automatic scanners rather than a flat bed?
    Originally posted by CosmicTen
    My brother 465CN has a 20 document feed so it auto scans upto 20 pages into imgaes text etc.
    And it's networkable.
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