Tax Planning and Preparation

Telephone and Fax:
(510) 834-2775


Q. How long should I keep my tax returns?
A. The IRS may go back three years or two years from the time a return is filed. California and most states may go back four years. Sometimes a specific form from a prior year needs to be referenced to properly prepare a future year. If you are uncertain as to whether to keep a specific year, you may want to keep all tax returns indefinitely.

Q. How do I keep my records?
A. In general, you may use any system that works easily for you, whether it is for business or personal finances. You can use any computer software program or you can merely sort your checks at year-end into categories that are reflected in your tax return.

Q. How do I keep my records for Assets/Investments?
A. It is best to create one folder for each type of holding.



Stocks and Bonds
Keep your trade tickets; it is wise to attach original buy ticket(s) to sell ticket(s).

Mutual Funds
Keep one folder for each fund. Most funds will have the entire year's activity on either a 1099 or year-end summary. Once this statement has arrived, you may not need to keep the monthly or quarterly statements.

Primary Residence
Always keep track of basis. This includes escrow papers, any refinance papers and a detailed list of capital improvements.

Rental Property
File your escrow papers and refinance papers. A current tax return, properly prepared, will include depreciation worksheets that reflect basis.