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Thread: Tax records - Fading slips

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    Tax records - Fading slips

    Hi,

    With the rule that you have to retain tax records for 5 years... What do you do with slips that fade (like store slips) completely so that you can't see the details on the slips?

    I have been thinking that you can probably scan these and print on printer paper (it is going to be a schlep though!) and keep the original slips with the scanned copy. What do you do with previous year slips that have already faded so much that you can barely make out the details or not at all (but you have already claimed the tax?)...

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    I have slips that last several years. Is it not just a case of storing them in a more protected environment? Perhaps sealed envelopes or boxes. I'm not sure what causes the fading. Is it light / temperature / handling?

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    It's a common problem with thermal paper, as a matter of recourse I make photocopies of these slips at month. (you can normally fit at least 6 on an A4 page)
    "If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother told you."

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    Quote Originally Posted by BusFact View Post
    I'm not sure what causes the fading. Is it light / temperature / handling?
    Light mostly, and heat when it comes to thermal paper.

    I haven't had too much trouble with fading slips while they're tightly packed in my filing cabinets. I have a 4 year rotation system on my filing cabinets, after which the stuff is archived in boxes. At that point most slips still tend to be readable...

    At times I've thought about what might happen if there was an audit that went back 5 years. My experience is they tend to look at the most recent periods first and only dive into older history if there's clear signs of problems.

    Well, the slip would still be there - readable or not. My thought was to argue "you said retain the slip, not preserve it "
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    The fading could be due to a number of factors - by the time the slips are handed to me, I think they have travelled from wallets, pockets, laptop bags, cubby-holes, etc... :-) The safest would probably be to scan them in and file the original with the scan.

    Thanks for the replies!

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Just write the amount and provider on the slip in pen before filing it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Light mostly, and heat when it comes to thermal paper.

    I haven't had too much trouble with fading slips while they're tightly packed in my filing cabinets. I have a 4 year rotation system on my filing cabinets, after which the stuff is archived in boxes. At that point most slips still tend to be readable...

    At times I've thought about what might happen if there was an audit that went back 5 years. My experience is they tend to look at the most recent periods first and only dive into older history if there's clear signs of problems.

    Well, the slip would still be there - readable or not. My thought was to argue "you said retain the slip, not preserve it "
    Nice argument!

    But in response to the OP's question, I would make copies of all the slips and store them. Never had that issue before, I think it is mostly in what condition you keep them in - for example, if you keep them in an air conditioned office, nicely packed away in envelopes in a filing cabinet, it should last for 5 years.

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    I was asked for audit and I brought the slips and some of them were badly faded. They accepted the problem, but it is important for them to "see" you as HONEST taxpayer with the rest.

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