Hard copies: Staples makes it easy

Recently, I got a fantastic lesson in the limits of digital storage. Searching for a paper that I wrote years ago, I tore through piles of CDs and zip disks. Still missing it, I dragged out my external hard drive, which is formatted for a Mac, got my friend Katie to loan me her computer, and performed all sorts of arcane searches in my quest for the missing document. Although I found a few other useful documents that I didn't know I needed, I was unable to access the paper in question. Finally, desperate to find the damned thing, I dug into a storage container that was full of old work and publications that I had written years earlier. At the bottom, tucked into an archival folder, I found what I was looking for.

This horror story aside, I love digital storage. Cheap scanning and storage have made it possible for me to save thousands of family pictures, endlessly reproduce valuable documents and generally organize large, unruly parts of my life. That said, there's definitely a value to having hard-copy backups of important documents. After all, as wonderful as digital storage is, it can still be somewhat fragile. Worst yet, it requires a functional computer, which isn't always available.

This is why I'm currently a big fan of Staples. On April 15, 2008, Staples Copy & Print Centers across the country will provide free xeroxing of up to 20 pages of your tax returns. While you're there, pick up an archival folder or a resealable envelope. When you get home, just tuck it into your filing cabinet, and you'll be good to go if an auditor comes calling!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. He loves Staples today, but his emotions are easily bought.

Tax Tips for Real Estate Agents and Brokers

Most real estate agents and brokers receive income in the form of commissions from sales transactions. You're generally not considered an employee under federal tax guidelines, but rather a self-employed sole proprietor, even if you're an agent or broker working for a real estate brokerage firm. This self-employed status allows you to deduct many of the expenses you incur in your real estate sales or property management activities. Careful record keeping and knowing your eligible write-offs are key to getting all of the tax deductions you're entitled to.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

What is the Educator Expense Tax Deduction?

The Educator Expense Tax Deduction allows teachers and certain academic administrators to deduct a portion of the costs of technology, supplies, and certain training. Here’s what teachers need to know about taking the Educator Expense Deduction on their tax returns.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Self-Employed Less Than a Year? How to Do Your Taxes

Have you been self-employed less than a year? If you’re just starting out, it’s possible you worked at a job earlier in the tax year before making the switch to self-employment, or you’re working multiple jobs. In this case, you may have more than once source of income you’ll need to report on your income tax return.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Taxes for Grads: Do Scholarships Count as Taxable Income?

Heading off to college to broaden your horizons is exciting, but funding your education via scholarships? That's even better. Scholarships often provide a path to education that might not be feasible otherwise, which is why the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be generous in minimizing students' tax obligations. But sometimes scholarship money does count as income, and it’s better to find out now if your scholarship adds to your tax liability than to have a surprise later. Here’s how to decode your scholarship taxation.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story
Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.