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.

Birth of a Child

The birth of a child is not just a blessed event; it's the beginning of a whole new set of tax breaks for your family. Learn how the newest addition to your family can help trim your tax bill, and how to save for your child's future in the most tax-efficient manner.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

What is Form 8332: Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent

Having custody of your child usually means you can claim that child as a dependent on your taxes. But if you don't have to file a tax return, or you reach an agreement with your child's noncustodial parent, you can let them take the child as a dependent instead with Form 8332.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

How Does Your Charitable Giving Measure Up?

Giving is truly better than receiving, especially when your generosity can provide income tax benefits.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

When to Use Tax Form 1099-C for Cancellation of Debt

In most situations, if you receive a Form 1099-C from a lender after negotiating a debt cancellation with them, you'll have to report the amount on that form to the Internal Revenue Service as taxable income. Certain exceptions do apply.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story