Where (And How Long) to Keep Financial Records
Tax time is here. I’ve got to begin sorting through the reams of paper files and records to make some sense of my 2010 tax year.
I keep everything. I think I even have my tax returns from the mid-1990s.
But a declining amount of space in my office and on my computer has me wondering how long I need to keep these records.
Kiplinger Personal Finance recommends at least six years, kinda:
Although it’s recommended that you keep your tax returns for at least six years, you may want to hold on to them forever (or at least a digital archive of them), because they can provide clues about your income and investments and other tax information that might come in handy in the distant future. You can still weed out and toss supporting documents, such as canceled checks and old receipts, three years after the due date of your return (that’s usually how long the IRS has to audit your return, unless you’ve significantly underreported your income). If you have any self-employment income, keep your receipts for at least six years.
Kiplinger goes on to give guidance on how long to keep monthly bank statements, stock purchase records, and major home/home improvement records and receipts.
Then the question becomes, where do you keep all of these documents.
As much as I am a techie, I ‘m not quite there yet on having all of my personal tax and financial information in “the cloud.”
But the clutter around the house may make me reconsider!