This is my attempt to create some interesting musings, uberservations and, perhaps, insights on both my personal and professional life.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

How Long Do You Need to Save All of That Paper?

I wish I could give credit where credit is due, but I don't know the source of this great information. My step mother sent me the following information on "How Long to Keep Your Records."

It's a question that plagues many of us while we toil away, slaving over file cabinets attempting to organize those 15 year old tax returns we haven't looked at in over a decade. Read below!

"Some documents and records need to be kept indefinitely but most can be discarded after a
prescribed period. Here are some general rules of thumb as to how long you should keep them.
Keep in mind that there may be individual circumstances in which legal considerations, for
instance, dictate that documents be kept longer. The basic rule is: When in doubt, don’t throw it
out. If you have any questions, check with your financial advisor.

Birth certificates
Adoption papers
Custody agreements
Death certificates
Deeds to property
Divorce papers
List of assets (keep current)
List of previous employers
Loans that have been paid off (canceled notes or other evidence)
Marriage certificates
Photographic or video record of house and household contents
Record of any governmental employment (e.g., armed forces)
Income tax returns (supporting documentation may be discarded after six years)
Tax forms and supporting records relating to non-deductible IRA contributions
Tax forms and supporting records relating to sale of a home

Bank statements—six years
Brokers’ confirmation slips for purchases—until security is sold plus six years
Canceled checks—six years
Contracts—seven years after expiration
Credit card statements—six years
Receipts for home improvements that can be added to tax basis of home—
six years after home is sold in a transaction that is not a “rollover” transaction
Insurance papers (all types of insurance)—four years after expiration
Mortgage records—three years after paid off
Owners’ manuals for appliances—until item is discarded
Receipts for major warranted purchases until item is discarded or sold
Records supporting income tax returns and deductions (W-2s, 1099s, receipts)—six years
Warranties and extended service agreements—until expiration

Owners’ manuals and warranties for appliances and cars you no longer own
Receipts for credit card purchases if not major or related to a tax deduction"

I hope this is helpful!