TAXMAN

DELETE CLIENTS

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OK. That settles it.  This thread has set a new record for diversions.  It has now chased more rabbits than my dad's old redbone hound dog did in his entire life.

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Just curious.  How many keep data beyond the legal required time?  Some might call doing so "providing evidence for the prosecution".  What I mean is if you are required to keep data for X amount of time, what reason would you have for keeping it X+1 minute?

No good can come from having "extra" data which can be used against you.  Does not mean there is not some "other" source of the material, away from subpoena, for times when you have concern.  A never delete policy, to me, is unacceptable.

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1 hour ago, Medlin Software said:

A never delete policy, to me, is unacceptable.

Might depend on what you are keeping.  I had an ex-client, who had been through a move and a divorce in the intervening years, contact me for records relating to an international adoption.  She had lost track of them, the tax return for the year involved, and the CD with the password-protected pdf's too.  I still had them, and was able to provide her with a new set (for a fee) that seriously saved her bacon when she needed to prove something related to that adoption for the youngster's school.  Those were all a good ten years old, and I only had them because I have not taken the time to purge my files of records that old.  (They were buried in a backup and I did charge her for the time and trouble, and she paid happily, before I released anything.)

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I can divert too :), thanks for listening.

What I could write about adoption would come off as a complainer.  Instead, I will say that with perseverance, the child's rights can be considered, if someone is willing to fight.  If I, as a naive 20 something could go through what we had to go through, and succeed with the help of some good advice and good representation, then anyone can.  The laws are slowly changing to first consider the child, but there are still cases where the child languishes while their birth person or persons game the system, with no intent of ever taking their child into their own custody.

We are experiencing another miracle, the benefits of genetic testing as a diagnostic tool.  If it was available 20 years ago, our lives would have been different, less alone dealing with certain issues.  But today, with the testing available, we can share experiences with others who will be facing what we have been for two decades.  The real key is being able to show agencies that there is a "thing", which does not fit their magic book, which requires help...The knowledge is coming so fast, it is tough to keep up, but the knowledge for our daughter will change the rest of her life!  Sadly, most of the research is being done in the UK, and on the east coast, and with children, not adults, but we participate remotely as much as we can.

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Regarding the "never delete" policy --I keep my electronic records all the way back to 1990.

 

This year a long time client (since 1993) sold two mutual funds and his broker listed the cost basis for each as the infamous "n/a."  He knew what he bought the funds for back in 1995 and 1996 and had not sold any of either fund since the purchase date, but all dividends and capital gains were reinvested.  I was able to reconstruct his cost basis by looking back at his returns form 1993 through 2016 and finding the dividends and capital gain distributions from each fund, since I had them listed separately on schedule B for each year.  His broker had told him that the only way to calculate the basis was to obtain complete histories from each company, and that he, the broker, wanted no part of that.  This, by the way, was a full service broker who had purchsaed the funds for my client originaly, but had purged some of his old records.

Needless to say, I scored major points with my client and tremendous word of mouth advertising.

By the way, I keep the 1990 - 2000 returns on an old XP computer and the newer one on my Windows 10 computer.

 

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