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Old 08.09.2013, 10:14
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Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

Heya,

Does anyone know which documents are required to be kept in paper form in Switzerland, i.e. proof for deduction in tax etc. ?

Which documents do I not have to keep ?

Background:
I've been using a scanner the last 2-3 years to scan all my received mail (bills, credit card statments, important flyers etc.) so I don't have to sit and mess with paper while paying bills.

For now i've basically kept all the papers in binders - but i'm getting tired of having my cupboards flowing over with old papers I never get to use.

Is there any rulings/precedence in switzerland on what is ok or not to trash ?

i.e. is a scan of a receipt enough to claim 2 year warranty or does one need to keep the physical paper even though some of these fades away quickly ?

Can I use scan of bills when declaring taxes or must they be exact originals ? How about for medical bills at health insurance companies ?
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Old 08.09.2013, 10:23
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

Have you heard of Photoshop software? You can change the date on any scanned document, and thus extend the warranty. Do you think the shop where you bought the item would accept a scanned version of the receipt? Maybe, maybe not...
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Old 08.09.2013, 10:34
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

3 years for invoices for private individuals
use common sense for the rest
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Old 08.09.2013, 10:38
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

I've gone totally paperless and have never had a problem with presenting a scanned copy of a receipt. The shop can always cross-reference with their own records if they have a date and invoice number. So I wouldn't worry too much about that.

The only documents that I've kept in hard-copy are official documents where I am required to produce an original, eg:

- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Vaccinations records
- Passport / residency permit

Basically, if it's got an official stamp or seal on it, I keep the original. For everything else -- banking documents, bills, supporting documents for taxes, tax returns, etc, I only keep the electronic copy. If I get audited, I can always produce my electronic copy; if that isn't sufficient, I can always go back to the issuing agency to get another copy produced.

I balance the risk that a scanned copy won't be accepted with the hassle factor associated with getting another copy from the issuing agency.

So far (touch wood), I've never had a problem.

PS - if you haven't looked into Evernote, investigate that as a storage solution for your scanned records. It's pretty incredible to be able to pull up virtually anything in 30 seconds or less...
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Old 08.09.2013, 10:49
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

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Have you heard of Photoshop software? You can change the date on any scanned document, and thus extend the warranty. Do you think the shop where you bought the item would accept a scanned version of the receipt? Maybe, maybe not...
Many shops actually advise you to make a copy of the receipt as due to the way they are printed nowadays the original fades over time and becomes unreadable.
It's easy enough for shops to double check their records anyway so it would be a pretty dumb idea for somebody to try to extend a warranty in that way.
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Old 08.09.2013, 11:56
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

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Many shops actually advise you to make a copy of the receipt as due to the way they are printed nowadays the original fades over time and becomes unreadable.
It's easy enough for shops to double check their records anyway so it would be a pretty dumb idea for somebody to try to extend a warranty in that way.
Never mind the fact that someone "clever" enough to use photoshop can probably find the print button, too.
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Old 08.09.2013, 12:13
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

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Have you heard of Photoshop software? You can change the date on any scanned document, and thus extend the warranty. Do you think the shop where you bought the item would accept a scanned version of the receipt? Maybe, maybe not...
well, most places they tell the customer to make a copy to avoid the paper to degrade so that at least make some require it.

In any case the scanned document (just like the original) can and would need to be counter proofed with the companies own copy - which i'm sure is *not* paper.
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Old 08.09.2013, 12:18
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

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I've gone totally paperless and have never had a problem with presenting a scanned copy of a receipt. The shop can always cross-reference with their own records if they have a date and invoice number. So I wouldn't worry too much about that.

The only documents that I've kept in hard-copy are official documents where I am required to produce an original, eg:

- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Vaccinations records
- Passport / residency permit

Basically, if it's got an official stamp or seal on it, I keep the original. For everything else -- banking documents, bills, supporting documents for taxes, tax returns, etc, I only keep the electronic copy. If I get audited, I can always produce my electronic copy; if that isn't sufficient, I can always go back to the issuing agency to get another copy produced.

I balance the risk that a scanned copy won't be accepted with the hassle factor associated with getting another copy from the issuing agency.

So far (touch wood), I've never had a problem.
What did you do with health bills ? I would love to trash them and then just print them once the amount goes above the deductible.

Quote:
PS - if you haven't looked into Evernote, investigate that as a storage solution for your scanned records. It's pretty incredible to be able to pull up virtually anything in 30 seconds or less...
I like the idea behind evernote but I do not like it is stored 100% in the cloud - I use DropBox + iDocument.app for most because it keeps the documents in native (mainly pdf) format and I can import/use it everywhere. I don't have a good mobile search solution for it yet but I think it will come soon.

Thanks for the answers!
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Old 08.09.2013, 12:42
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

With the issues like the misselling of PPI etc. there is a case for keeping any financial documents indefinitely. Who knows what issues may arise in future that require documents as evidence?
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Old 08.09.2013, 13:56
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

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What did you do with health bills ? I would love to trash them and then just print them once the amount goes above the deductible.

I like the idea behind evernote but I do not like it is stored 100% in the cloud - I use DropBox + iDocument.app for most because it keeps the documents in native (mainly pdf) format and I can import/use it everywhere. I don't have a good mobile search solution for it yet but I think it will come soon.
For health bills, I submit the originals to the insurance company and retain an electronic copy for my records.

Regarding Evernote, I scan my documents as OCR'd PDFs. These are kept locally on my computer as well as in the Cloud with Evernote, and I back up the version on my computer with Dropbox as well. That way, I'm not reliant on Evernote if they ever go out of business, nor am I locked into their search technology.

But their technology is pretty impressive -- I can call up almost any document with 30 seconds of searching, from any computer anywhere in the world.
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Old 08.09.2013, 14:15
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

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For health bills, I submit the originals to the insurance company and retain an electronic copy for my records.

Regarding Evernote, I scan my documents as OCR'd PDFs. These are kept locally on my computer as well as in the Cloud with Evernote, and I back up the version on my computer with Dropbox as well. That way, I'm not reliant on Evernote if they ever go out of business, nor am I locked into their search technology.

But their technology is pretty impressive -- I can call up almost any document with 30 seconds of searching, from any computer anywhere in the world.
But that means tags you make in Evernote doesnt show up on the pdf or Vice versa....but it is intriguing
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Old 08.09.2013, 14:39
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

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With the issues like the misselling of PPI etc. there is a case for keeping any financial documents indefinitely. Who knows what issues may arise in future that require documents as evidence?
Misspelling of PPI ? Which PPI ?
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Old 08.09.2013, 15:16
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

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Misspelling of PPI ? Which PPI ?
Sorry for using abbreviation. Payment Protection Insurance

Here is a blog on the subject:
http://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/20...ter-six-years/
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Old 08.09.2013, 15:54
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

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But that means tags you make in Evernote doesnt show up on the pdf or Vice versa....but it is intriguing
I don't bother tagging anything. Because the PDFs are OCRed, they are fully searchable. Want to know how much I paid for Billag last year? I just search on 'Billag' and instantly I have ever bill I've ever received from them in the last year.

Need to find an old insurance form? 'SWICA' + year is enough to quickly locate the document.

I have a rudimentary filing system with about 40 folders, but I very rarely use these to retrieve items. I go to the 'All Items' folder and do a search.

The only folders I do use quite often (although I realize I could use tags for this, too) are my folders called '2013 Taxes', which is where I still all my tax-relevant documents as they come in over the year. At the end of the year, I just copy all the PDFs from this folder onto a CD and off they go to my tax preparer.

My scanner (a Fuji ScanSnap S1500, a superb scanner if you're planning on going totally paperless) is designed to do one-button scanning directly into Evernote. So I load the paper, click on the folder I want the document to end up in, and press the button. Then the paper goes straight in the shredder. The whole process takes 5 seconds.

I don't often get so evangelical over something quite so geeky, but it's a pretty slick setup that really does what it's supposed to.
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Old 08.09.2013, 16:39
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

Interestingly, some documents now are valid only in an electronic format and not in a paper format. For example a criminal record extract (Strafregisterauszug) because the document container is electronically signed.
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Old 10.09.2013, 12:55
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

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Heya,

Does anyone know which documents are required to be kept in paper form in Switzerland, i.e. proof for deduction in tax etc. ?

Which documents do I not have to keep ?

Background:
I've been using a scanner the last 2-3 years to scan all my received mail (bills, credit card statments, important flyers etc.) so I don't have to sit and mess with paper while paying bills.

For now i've basically kept all the papers in binders - but i'm getting tired of having my cupboards flowing over with old papers I never get to use.

Is there any rulings/precedence in switzerland on what is ok or not to trash ?

i.e. is a scan of a receipt enough to claim 2 year warranty or does one need to keep the physical paper even though some of these fades away quickly ?

Can I use scan of bills when declaring taxes or must they be exact originals ? How about for medical bills at health insurance companies ?
Binders take up a lot of space. I use a folder and place in there all bills I pay and important receipts (eg electric goods in case of problems). Every year I start a new folder. A simple folder like that dosn't take up much space, maybe 40 sheets or so per year. Then I go through once a year from the folder that is 4 years old and throw away most of it (for sure insurance, temephone, and receipts), and only save 2-5 important documents. No need to scan if I keep the original. In a folder away from heat receipts dont fade as quickly, perfectly readable after 4 years.
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Old 10.09.2013, 13:06
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Re: Going paperless - which documents got legal reasons to be kept on paper ?

It is worth copying till receipts if you intend to keep them for a long time. Many fade, even if stored in the dark
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