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I finished my taxes and did the E-File (part of the costs of the software) for federal (but printed out the state because of costs - $15 vs less than a buck) and they want us to print a copy for our records. Should I print it or just save it to a PDF file and retrieve it from the DVD? I've had a CD-R that I've kept my past ten eleven tax returns now and I'm saving my sixth PDF for TurboTax. Good move or not?
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Good move or not?

Perfectly fine move. As a professional I only save PDF copies of tax returns. No paper for me.

Although after 6 (or is it 11?) years with the same CD, I'd be concerned about that particular disk. CDs have a limited life span. I think I've heard something like 5 years or so. I'd copy things over to a new CD and keep going.

--Peter
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Saving just one copy isn't sufficient. As a prevous poster indicated, writable CDs do have a life span. I have had a CD destroyed by a paper label (it caused the CD to warp, making it unreadable).
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I've misplaced enough disks, and had enough hard drives crash over the years, that I think it's worthwhile to print a paper copy and save that off with the W2s and other forms.
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There's one CD and the same 11 years of returns are on the hard driver, and so I'll likely burn a second copy.
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Print the darned thing. Trust me, if something should happen to your computer, it's cheaper and a lot less hassle than trying to get a copy from the IRS or trying to do next year's return without some figure that the IRS wants off of this year's return. And way cheaper than trying to do it without the figure they want, not finding a work-around, and giving up and taking it to some local tax & accounting firm so late that they have to file for an extension.

You can even throw in a new printer cartridge, as long as you're not having to order it from Dell.

- Paint
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trying to do next year's return without some figure that the IRS wants off of this year's return.

Unless you have carry forward losses or deductions, filing on paper avoids all of the numbers that they ask from the previous return.
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Unless you have carry forward losses or deductions, filing on paper avoids all of the numbers that they ask from the previous return.

Well, you can get around missing information whether you're filing electronically or on paper, but that doesn't mean that your return will be right. For example, even if you itemized deductions the prior year, a state tax refund may or may not be taxable income and, if taxable, may or may not be fully taxable. Without the prior year's return you don't know for sure. Unless you have a really good memory, that is.

Bottom line, keep your returns. Forever. If nothing else it will provide amusement for those cleaning up after you've gone to your dirt nap.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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For example, even if you itemized deductions the prior year, a state tax refund may or may not be taxable income and, if taxable, may or may not be fully taxable. Without the prior year's return you don't know for sure. Unless you have a really good memory, that is.

It is always best to have your previous years tax return. Many do have simple returns that don't rely on previous years return. It would be a serious headache if I lost my previous tax returns.

If the only complaint is that they can't efile because of the questions asked by the software, then paper filing would avoid the questions.
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It's been backed up on (a) my computer and (b) my CD. A third backup is also being prepared in a "RAID" form.
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It's been backed up on (a) my computer and (b) my CD. A third backup is also being prepared in a "RAID" form.

Just as long as it isn't RAID 0.
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