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April 27, 2017

Household Record Keeping

April is Records Retention Month! Do you know how long you should retain certain household records? If not, below is a quick “cheat sheet” to help ensure you are keeping what you need for as long as you need.


Household Record Keeping

Keep for 1 month:

  • ATM printouts (keep for the purpose of balancing your check book)

Keep for 1 year:

  • Paycheck stubs (compare to W2 and social security statements)
  • Utility bills (unless using for a deduction, like home office, then for 3 years)
  • Cancelled checks (unless needed for tax purposes, then 3 years)
  • Credit card receipts (unless needed for tax purposes, then 3 years)
  • Bank statements (unless needed for tax purposes, then 3 years)
  • Quarterly investment statements (hold to compare to annual statement)

Keep for 3 years:

  • Income tax returns (remember that you may be audited by the IRS for no reason up to 3 years after you filed a tax return. If you omit 25% of your gross income that goes up to 6 years and if you don’t file at all, there is no statute of limitations)
  • Medical bills and Cancelled Insurance Policies
  • Records of Selling a House
  • Records of Selling a Stock
  • Receipts, Cancelled Checks & other documents that support income/deduction on your Tax Return
  • Annual Investment Statement (keep 3 years after you sell the investment)

Keep for 7 years:

  • Records of Satisfied Loans

Keep While Active:

  • Sales receipts – keep until warranty expires or return/exchange window expires (unless needed for tax purposes, then keep for 3 years)
  • Contracts
  • Insurance Documents
  • Stock Certificates and Records
  • Property Records
  • Property Tax Records Disputed Bills (keep until dispute is resolved)
  • Home Improvement Records

Keep Forever, preferably in a safe place:

  • Marriage Licenses
  • Birth Certificates
  • Wills
  • Adoption Papers
  • Death Certificates
  • Records of Paid Mortgages

**Courtesy of Suze Orman. Learn more here

 
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