Asset Planning, Inc Blog

The latest from the team.
Font size: +
2 minutes reading time (383 words)

Record Retention: Keep it or Toss it

After your taxes are complete it is always a good idea to go through your records and organize what you should keep and what you can get rid of.

How long to keep records is a combination of judgment and state and federal statutes of limitations. Since federal tax returns can generally be audited for up to three years after filing and up to six years if the IRS suspects underreported income, it’s wise to keep tax records at least seven years after a return is filed. Requirements for records kept electronically are the same as for paper records. Many records can easily be kept on-line now and downloaded and to your computer, external drive or cloud account.

Records Retention Guideline # 1: Some items should never be thrown out

This is because these items would be hard to replace and you may be asked to provide them later in life. I suggest storing these “permanent records” in an expanding file or wallet – preferably in a fire safe box:

  • Income tax returns: if the return is uncomplicated then you only need to keep it for 7 years.
  • Important correspondence.
  • Legal documents.
  • Vital records (birth/death/marriage/divorce/adoption etc.).
  • Retirement and pension records.
  • Year-end investment statements.
    • If the investments are transferred to another account make sure the cost basis has transferred over correctly.
    • IRA non-deductible contributions (Form 8606).
  • Will and Trust documents.
  • Records of paid mortgages and other loans.

Records Retention Guideline # 2: Everything Else

You should retain these records according to the following guidelines:

  • Home purchase documents – Ownership period + 7 years.
    • Property records/builder contracts/home improvement receipts (keep until property is sold – needed for taxes)
  • Car purchase and sale records (keep until car is sold + 3 years).
  • Insurance policies (keep for life of policy).
    • If policy is changed to another company make sure that you keep the files together.
  • Sales receipts (keep for life of warranty or life of the item on large purchases).
  • Warranties and instructions (keep for life of product).
  • Medical bills – keep for 3 years or longer if there are any reimbursement questions.
  • No need to keep monthly statements for credit cards, bank statements, utilities, etc. if you receive a year end recap or are able to go online and view up to 3 years of statements.
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Mortgage Rates Hit Historic Lows
CARES Act Stimulus Summary

Search Blogs Module

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
tax returns identity thieves home emergency preparedness kits summer water … settlement options Charles Schwab April 18 2017. drive /usb breach estate April 15 blog post Labor Day donation counts Notary Public markets paperwork clutter DNA test kits 4 pm -8pm interest rates cell phone provider pet card reader items vision screening Auto insurance phishing sites Open Enrollment credit freeze June 29 text messages non-prescripstion sunglasses president Trump driver license 20 year anniversary retirement planning January 10 Victor Dergunov Puerto Rico team members home emergency kit contribution limit Economic Security donation items April 11 spread pets Healthcare Fox News story pet supplies Medicare question Flexible Spending Account money Medicare Part B cell phone carriers offer pet industry relief efforts prescription eyeglasses Supplemental Security Income Roth IRA web address IRA accounts Medicare Part B premiums September 9 holidays approach credit score 23 andme Treasury Department Kiplinger Letter emergency folder notary services Federal Trade Commission website privacy settings fees credit card company parking spots D premiums credit cards coronavirus CARES Act cell phone carriers jury duty disaster areas ID card business hours tax deadline tax deadlines investment statements self-help topics cell phones https ://seekingalpha Independence Day July weekend September 30 2020. National Ice Cream month retirement plans trust app consumer spending https :// information Facebook fun atmosphere payments trustee 2017 IRA contributions Joey Gonzales Medicare Advantage EEChecklist-Kits.pdf stockpilingchecklist.pdf integral member Open House Two-Step Verification Social Security Administration 401K paper records FSA Legal robocalls estate planning direction February 14 home break-ins earnings fallout stock pile bottom line Wells Fargo employees COVID -19 virus spring cleaning house sitter increase Affordable Care Act operations manager car loans student loans cell phone SIM swap scam Amazon hurricane Dorian credit card fraud pet donation drive Erin Nelsen interest California Lions Friends stimulus package Medicare plan Mobile Banking Security Tips July 3 rd executive order estate planning borrowing money Brexit vote market turmoil phone family members emergency kit health care services Part D premiums . toilet paper years Wells Fargo customers banking portal home mortgages Expired medications tax filing deadlines home tax records identity theft spam phone assets wells Fargo opt-out cell phone service provider home security phishing scams credit monitoring service 2017 TD Ameritrade National LINC Conference news coverage information Kraig Mathias flash drive documents clone counterfeits Retirement Contribution Limits chip-enabled EMV cards Facebook profile Part B ice cream event fun facts “ skimmer ”. records 2017 Equifax breach client portal CA FTB company October 1 2020. Orange County Superior Court July 4 health care costs IRS deadline debt partner /owner TD Ameritrade memorial Day weekend padlock media accounts Financial Planning Magazine vacation earthquake app Social Security July 6 retirement accounts September 8 CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER exam insurance policies clients policy asset Planning privacy notices retirement checklists Orange County official certification IRS Medicare email notifications offering insurance FEMA website phone companies tax season birth certificates emergency kits Shred paperwork Ice Cream Social life saver rescue organizations insurance policy clients show support illiegal robocallers 2018 IRA contributions Asset Planning CFP ® gap insurance VOIP landline phones people medications Coronavirus Aid 70 1/2. check lists account numbers scams ice cream 900 number