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After many years of paying taxes and being told to keep my Federal Income Tax records FOREVER, the little buggers are starting to take a bit of space in the file cabinet I want to clean out.

I've recently acquired an Epson RX500 which scans things rather nicely and stores them on my computer.

So during a recent daydream, I thought "Why can't I scan my income tax records, store them on my computer, copy them to CD, and throw the paper away?"

I've played around scanning and storing some old letters relating to genealogy, and have scanned in some pictures and learned a little about organizing them. Made MANY organizational mistakes on the way, and am correcting them now that I understand the implications a bit better

I'm considering scanning (to a JPEG format?) in a years records, say 1972 (first year I was married) or 1989 (it's right at the front of the drawer closest to my computer) to a folder named:


Then I'll ...

... verify the readability of the data

... back it up to CD (backing up at the 'Tax Records' level)

... read the CD on my daughter's computer to ensure validity

... store the CD in my Safe Deposit box

... throw away the paper

... and repeat the process for the other years 1972 through 2002
(keeping the last 3 years on paper for now)

... I'd probably replace the CD each time, since it's cumulative

... keep a folder in the file cabinet labeled 'Tax Records' which has a piece of paper in it which says "See JPEG CD in Bank"


1 - if I do this, does the IRS consider my CD / scanned records valid?

2 - is JPEG the right format to use? (A friend always uses TIFF files when he scans. I've used JPEG because it's first on my scanner's menu.)

3 - are there other questions I should ask or things I should consider?

Many Thanks ...
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