Paper work. Paper avalanche. Paper chase. Whatever you call it I know papers they are the downfall of many of you. What to do what do you need to keep?
Most financial papers fit in to one of 3 categories
- Keep indefinitely
- Keep for 7 years
- Keep for a year or less
Keep For A Calendar Year Or Less
ATM receipts and deposit slips – when you receive your bank statements you can shred them.
Charge slips (unless it is for a major purchase), for minor purchases once you are satisfied with the purchase. Shred the receipt when your credit card statement.
If you do not have a home office you don’t need to keep your utility bills, monthly mortgage statements or quarterly investment reports.
Keep your pay stubs, credit card statements and investment reports until you receive the W-2 or year-end summaries. Once you have those you don’t need the monthly statements.
Keep Seven Years
Year end credit-card summaries, along with your W-2s and 1099s.
If you itemize your tax return you need to keep all documents you utilized to determine your deductions. These additional documents you should retain include: canceled checks and receipts for all deductible business expenses (such as those for entertainment, home-office equipment, and professional dues), retirement-account contributions, charitable donations, child-care bills, out-of-pocket medical expenses, alimony, and mortgage-interest and property-tax payments.
After 7 years you should scan the actual tax returns or the year-end summaries of your investment accounts as they can come in very handy for future financial planning. Then you can store them on a flash drive or a CD in a safe place.
Keep receipts for major purchases and receipts that show how much you’ve paid for home improvements as long at your own your home. This will satisfy three things: Insurance claims, potential buyers and when you sell your home to reduce possible capital gains.
Keep beneficiary designation confirmation and purchase price slips that show beneficiary designations and the purchase price of stocks, mutual funds, and any other investments you hold.
It goes without saying that you need to keep your will, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, property deeds, and other permanent records in a safe but accessible place near your other financial documents, so you and your heirs will always be able to get to them quickly, if they need to.
Invest in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box for your forever documents.
I suggest scanning and digitizing your important personal documents as a back up copy. More info on this by News Leavitt Just remember a digital copy is not the same as a paper copy but it is much easier to obtain a replacement copy of you have a photo copy.
Also, invest in a shredder. In today’s world you really don’t want personal information floating around out there. You can find them for not much money.
For more information how long to keep your documents check here for more info from bankrate.com. They have a very detailed list.
Now that you know what to keep and what to shred, I have a post on how to deal your paper as it come in the door. If you would like to read it here is the link Did you get Stacked?
I hope this helps you let go of your papers. I love your comments.
#organize, #clutter, #paperwork, #documents #taxtime