Go Paperless This Tax Season: Electronic Tax Forms from TD Ameritrade

Reduce your carbon footprint and clear out your filing cabinet. Going paperless with e-delivery of your tax forms can streamline your tax season.

https://tickertapecdn.tdameritrade.com/assets/images/pages/md/Paperless tax forms and brokerage statements
5 min read
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Key Takeaways

  • Save yourself time with e-delivery of tax forms and documents
  • Safeguard your personal information with electronic communications
  • Help the environment by reducing paper forms

Tax season is just a few months away, and now’s the time to start preparing. Before all that mail starts arriving, TD Ameritrade clients can consider switching to e-delivery instead of paper forms and statements.

Getting hard copies of your records is so 20th century. There are multiple reasons to switch to paperless tax forms, and it’s a snap to swap to e-delivery. TD Ameritrade clients can log in to tdameritrade.com and edit their communication preferences (see figure 1). Having trouble? A TD Ameritrade Financial Consultant can help you change your delivery method settings.

Change communication preferences and go paperless
FIGURE 1: SETTING COMMUNICATION PREFERENCES. Want to change to electronic delivery? Log in to your account at tdameritrade.com, and under the Client Services tab, select My Profile > Account Documents > Edit. For illustrative purposes only.

Need a Reason to Switch to Paperless Tax Forms? How About Seven?

Darci Jensen, senior manager, tax solutions for TD Ameritrade Clearing, offered seven reasons to use e-delivery for tax forms and statements.

  1. Quicker delivery. Unlike the snail-mail method, paperless tax forms and other account documents are available as soon as they’re ready. You’ll receive a notification email that your materials are waiting for you, ending the hassle of waiting for them to arrive via the post office.
  2. Better security. With e-delivery, you don’t have to worry about your sensitive documents getting lost in the mail or worse, stolen, putting your personal information at risk of identity theft. To retrieve your e-delivered statements, just log in to your TD Ameritrade brokerage account(s).

    Jensen pointed out that although the IRS truncates your Social Security and tax ID numbers on documents, there is other personal information on those forms that you might not want someone else to have. Another good reason to switch from paper is if your mailing address has changed. Physical delivery of documents can be delayed if mail is forwarded or returned to TD Ameritrade.

    “As long as you keep your email address updated, you’ll get the notification that your statements are available online,” she said.
  3. Seven years of paperless tax documents available at your fingertips. Paperless delivery fits your schedule and your retrieval method. TD Ameritrade stores up to seven years of tax documents in your account, and you can access these materials 24 hours a day, wherever you are. Jensen said the documents come in PDF format, so you can view or download your statements from a computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

    “The longest IRS retention period is 7 years so  that's how long TD Ameritrade will keep the tax forms available online. I would strongly suggest clients save them at least that long as well,” Jensen said.
  4. Easier to find. Misplacing mail happens all the time and is a real headache—documents may get lost or tossed or simply misfiled. With e-delivery, your statements are easier to locate because they’ll always be in the same place: securely in your account.
  5. Reduce paper clutter. Ever feel overwhelmed by all the papers piling up everywhere? With e-delivery, the clutter is gone. You can always download and save statements to your favorite device, external hard drive, or even print them out if you feel the need.

    Making the transition to paperless? Here are a few things to note before you ditch the shoebox and fire up the shredder. The statute of limitations on an IRS audit is six years. But that doesn’t apply if a taxpayer files a fraudulent return or fails to file at all. Do you track work-related expenses? It’s generally okay to toss receipts for expenses under $75, with the exception of lodging. And if you’ve been hanging on to old pay stubs, there’s no need. You can toss them as soon as you’ve reconciled them against your W-2.

    And about those stock portfolios: Be sure to keep all of your brokerage confirmations and statements for securities and mutual fund purchases until three years after the security is sold. This is especially important if you have any paperwork on dividend reinvestments. If you’re setting your communication preferences to e-delivery, refer back to figure 1 and make sure your trade confirmations are set to paperless as well.
  6. Save time. Keeping several years of paper statements means document management. With e-delivery you save time otherwise spent filing, searching, and eventually shredding those paper documents.

    “It’s much easier to keep track, especially when you have multipage documents that can get out of order. The management is much, much simpler,” Jensen said.
  7. Environmentally friendly. E-delivery is quick, secure, and more organized, and it’s also better for the environment. By eliminating paper, you’re saving trees and reducing the greenhouse gases that come with paper manufacturing, printing, and mailing.

So sign up today for paperless tax documents and statements. It’s more convenient, makes document storage easier to manage, and offers greater security. 

TD Ameritrade does not provide tax advice. We suggest consulting with a tax-planning  professional with regard to your personal circumstances.

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Key Takeaways

  • Save yourself time with e-delivery of tax forms and documents
  • Safeguard your personal information with electronic communications
  • Help the environment by reducing paper forms

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