Which financial documents should you keep?

And more of the week's best financial advice

Documents on documents on documents.
(Image credit: iStock)

Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial advice, gathered from around the web:

Financial documents to keep

For the millions of Americans itemizing their deductions, tax season is a time of "paper piles, bursting files, and inscrutable tax forms," said Ron Lieber at The New York Times. With the new tax bill offering fewer reasons to itemize, "there may be less mess in your future." But you will still want to retain "more than you might think." The IRS anticipates you'll keep your returns and "any supporting documentation" three years after filing. Make sure you also keep records of your IRA conversions to prove you've already paid tax when you withdraw. It's also important to retain copies of major insurance policies and any estate-planning documents. To cut down on paperwork, scan and save digital copies of receipts for deductible expenses.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Locating your old 401(k) accounts

"Do you know where your money is?" asked Ken Fisher at USA Today. Keeping track of old 401(k) accounts can be tricky. Americans lost track of more than $7.7 billion worth of retirement savings in 2015 alone. If you "accidentally and unknowingly" abandoned a 401(k), it's "time to retrieve it and take control." The good news is, "if your money was invested, it should still be growing." But you'll want to consolidate, because having multiple accounts with numerous fee structures and investment plans will be costly in the long term. Check old statements, contact your previous employers, or search the site of the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits. "When everything is merged, you can work on your own or with your adviser to make sure the money is invested right for your goals and needs."

Determining your estimated taxes

"How much should I pay?" asked Jeanne Sahadi at CNN. It's a perennial question for those who pay quarterly estimated taxes. But it's "especially tricky this year," because the new tax law changed income tax rates, and eliminated some deductions and exemptions and added others. Tax experts are still awaiting guidance from the IRS on some key provisions, so until that advice arrives, it's probably "better to figure your estimated payments to match 100 percent (or 110 percent) of what you paid last year." It's not advisable to skip the quarterly payment that is due April 17 just because you are unsure of what you owe. "You could be hit with underpayment penalties for the quarter when you file your 2018 return next year."

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us