28 September 2010

From many to few.

These are the bags of shredded documents that are the result of finally putting together our '09 taxes: that extension deadline is coming right up (US, that is. Germany is not due on regular filing until the end of the year).
It's amazing how many documents can be shredded into two bags. I took the opportunity to discard as many other documents as possible while I was looing through the pertinent folders.
Another expat assures me that this can go in the paper recycling (after being dumped out of the plastic, of course) but I'm afraid that the neighbors will not appreciate it: it seems that the only recycling that goes in those bins is newspaper.
Do other people need to deal with this stuff? It seems that my in-laws have no paperwork issues at all. As I finish up going through the medical claims alone(which I know that my in-laws don't need to deal with), I have 218 lines in a spreadsheet with back up documentation, about 20% of which is resubmissions because the company in question likes to deem the paperwork "illegible".

2 comments:

lettershometoyou said...

I hang on to everything. You never know when they want to review your Steuerbescheid - code for come back and ask for more money, with interest - so it all stays in the basement. They've done it three times, actually.

G in Berlin said...

My mom just said the same thing. But I am an accountant: the shredded documents are, at this point, unneeded (eg, monthly statements now that I have the annual statement, physical documents when I have the pdfs saved). We are fortunate enough to have the German's firm doing our taxes (US and German), so we have scanned and sent all pertinent documents as well. Sadly enough, we still have lots of documents clogging up our lives after this shredding session and if I were mpre proactive I would go through more of my back files to make certain that I am not over retaining.
By the way, in three years filing here, two "requests for information", one fight won by us.Thirty years filing in the US, twice audited before 21 (light- requests for info), three times business audits by NY state and twice audited by the Labor department: I agree one should keep necessary documentation. (In all those cases, never paid more than the extra time providing information and walking through my books with an official).