. How Long Do I Save Paperwork?
I received the above email with the following questions and would like to share some ideas. Thought you might benefit from my thoughts, which are bolded.
- Old life insurance policies. Keep only current copies of insurance policies plus two older policies for comparison purposes.
- Old bill statements: gas electric, phone, utilities. Keep bill statements for this year until April of next year (or when you do your taxes). If you don’t need this paperwork for taxes, they can then be discarded.
- Receipts. Keep receipts for this year until April of next year (for smaller purchases) and then do the same as with bill statements (i.e. discard if not needed for tax documentation). Put receipts for larger items with their respective warranties and instructions for long-term filing.
- Old check registers, and duplicate check carbon copies. Keep for seven years (for IRS purposes). I usually do a ten-year turnaround, because it is easy to remember. Therefore, any 1998 and older items can be discarded in 2009.
- Receipts from things we have used for tax right offs in the past. Keep for seven years (for IRS purposes) if for personal taxes. Again, I usually do a ten-year turnaround, because it is easy to remember. On the other hand, keep all business documentation until forever.
- Old insurance statements. Keep only current and two in the past (as reference documents).
- Bank statements. Keep personal bank statements for seven years (for IRS purposes). Again, I usually do a ten-year turnaround, because it is easy to remember. Business bank statements are kept forever to keep the IRS happy should they decide to visit.
Marie, thanks so much for your tips. They have been very helpful. Thanks again!
Find more helpful ideas in my House of Order Handbook.
Photo from sxc.hu, used with permission.