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I am a pack rat when it comes to keeping financial statements. I still have tax returns for the 1980s. I plan to eventually get a scanner and start shredding some paper.

Any thoughts on the legality of scanned documents if I were to ever provide proof of those papers? I would still keep a certain amount of history in paper format, but also have a scanned version for back up.
 

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I am a pack rat when it comes to keeping financial statements. I still have tax returns for the 1980s. I plan to eventually get a scanner and start shredding some paper.

Any thoughts on the legality of scanned documents if I were to ever provide proof of those papers? I would still keep a certain amount of history in paper format, but also have a scanned version for back up.
My younger brother wrote a paper about this when he was in law school (he's a government lawyer now).

My understanding is that scanned documents fall under something called the "best evidence" doctrine. If you present a scanned document as evidence, and there is no better evidence to refute it, it is acceptable.

Most financial institutions, including the one I work for, do not retain original documents for most purposes. They are scanned, shredded, then recycled.
 

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I am a pack rat when it comes to keeping financial statements. I still have tax returns for the 1980s. I plan to eventually get a scanner and start shredding some paper.

Any thoughts on the legality of scanned documents if I were to ever provide proof of those papers? I would still keep a certain amount of history in paper format, but also have a scanned version for back up.

Instead of spending hours scanning, why not select the documents you actually need to keep (Notice of Assessment for every year, full documentation for the past 7 years in case of audit, and any other relevant document)? Eliminate the rest, and keep these paper copies. If you feel better about having an electronic backup of these essential documents, that's not a bad idea in case of catastrophe (fire, etc). You could also make photocopies and leave them at a second location just in case.
 
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