Organize and purge your tax files

Start gathering your 2013 tax records, so you’ll be ready when tax-filing season begins. Dig up receipts for child-care expenses and summer camp if you qualify for the dependent care credit, and records of investments you sold and contributions you made to charity. Meanwhile, you can start to toss some of your financial records you don’t need for tax purposes—such as your monthly brokerage and credit-card statements if they match up with your year-end report. You can also get rid of many supporting documents from your tax files three years after the tax-filing deadline has passed, which is the length of time the IRS generally has to audit your return (unless you’ve left out a chunk of your income).

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