Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Shred of Dignity

I spent most of today going through 14 years of documents; is it safe for me to throw away 1995's tax returns? What about copies of angry emails to exes? I'd hate to forget what I was mad about eleven years ago.

I got curiouser while writing this, so I looked it up. According to the website:

Note: Keep copies of your filed tax returns. They help in preparing future tax returns and making computations if you file an amended return.
  1. You owe additional tax and situations (2), (3), and (4), below, do not apply to you; keep records for 3 years.
  2. You do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return; keep records for 6 years.
  3. You file a fraudulent return; keep records indefinitely.  You do not file a return; keep records indefinitely.
    You file a claim for credit or refund* after you file your return; keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
    You file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction; keep records for 7 years.
    Keep all employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.  
I sort of love #3.

It started with my firebox. It got so crowded that Annie had to get her own. Ridiculous. What could be so important that I need an entire firebox to document it? And I'm not talking about standard file folders in a cabinet. I'm not talking about them yet. Just the superflua from the box.

Good news! This stuff is not worthless!

If you've done this recently, you remember that it's not emotion-neutral. The handmade Mother's Day cards, the certificates of achievement, my late-in-life college diploma, letters from absent friends. I'm talking serious poignancy, people. Those things aren't in the kitty nest.

I guess I only need one copy of the divorce decree. What will Social Security want from me if I decide to claim his benefits instead of mine? [This is not entirely rhetorical - comment if you know.]

The filing cabinet yielded (yelt?) a huge box of discards that I don't have to shred, and a small box I must. Remember when Social Security numbers would never be used for identification? I don't, but I've read stuff.

Check this out! Our cats would love this. What would work that isn't $210? I have no woodworking skills, so the curving of the wood is right out. Suggestions solicited.

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dirtyduck said...

omg i love that picture!!! you need to submit it to the "i have chezburger" website!!!hopefully you know what that is or this comment will be really weird!!!!

Roxi said...

I definitely DO know the site. It's in my Top 10 favorites!

jillbertini said...

I think you can qualify for survivor benefits even if you're divorced. It's only if you remarry (a man) that you lose the benefits. I could be wrong about that, though. But we were just joking with some friends about this recently.

Roxanne said...

I think I can after a certain age (60, I think), but do you think now? I did the BEST screening on the SSA website just to check it out; it said no.

Of course, maybe by the time I'm old enough, we can both get Annie's!

Anonymous said...

This post cracked me up !! Especially about the angry e-mails (or letters b4 e-mails) to exes !! I kept everything.
When I decided to sell my house and go fulltiming you wouldn't believe the garbage bags full of shredding I hauled out.
To give you but one example - I had kept EVERY pay slip I had ever received from my Employer and I started working for the Company in 1976 !!! LOL

The Good Luck Duck said...

Sassy, that's a LOT of paystubs! The earlier ones were probably etched in shale, right? I think you might win this round.