Here's a checklist of final steps you should take as a family child care provider before you can forget about last year's taxes:
1) Gather all your business records that you used for your 2014 tax return and put them with a copy of your tax return.
2) Save all your canceled checks (carbon copies) and monthly bank statements for all your personal and business checking and savings accounts.
3) Gather all copies of your Food Program monthly claim forms.
4) Collect your attendance records and any sign-in/out sheets signed by parents.
5) Ask your tax preparer for copies of all the backup worksheets or depreciation schedules used to prepare your taxes.
6) If you use the Minute Menu Kids Pro software program, print out the following reports: Depreciation Worksheet, Form 8829 Detailed Expenses, Schedule C Detailed Expenses, Standard Meal Allowance, Statement of Payments, Time Space Hours Children Present, Time Space Other Activities, Time Space Calculation, and Vehicle Mileage.
7) Put all the records from above into a sealed plastic storage box (100% tax deductible!) to protect them from water damage. Put the storage box in a safe, dry place.
8) If you scanned receipts and other records into your computer, download them onto a flash drive and put it either in a safe, dry place or in a safe deposit box.
9) Save these records for at least three years (until April 15, 2018). To be on the safe side, save them for four years.
Now you can rest easy.
Update: You should also be saving your state tax records as well. Some states require you to save your records for four years, most say three years.
You can throw away your records after four years, with the exception of the receipts for items that you are depreciating: office equipment (5 years), furniture/appliances (7 years), fence/patio (15 years), home improvement/home (39 years).
Tom Copeland - www.tomcopelandblog.com