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Good record keeping can help you save during tax time and make your financial life easier.

How long to keep records is a combination of judgment and state and federal statutes of limitations. Below is a list of generally recommended retention periods for various documents. If you have questions or would like help with your individual records, please contact us.

  • Tax returns (uncomplicated) 7 years

  • Tax returns (all others) permanent

  • W-2s 7 years

  • 1099s 7 years

  • Canceled checks supporting tax deductions 7 years

  • Bank deposit slips 7 years

  • Bank statements 7 years

  • Charitable contribution documentation 7 years

  • Credit card statements 7 years

  • Receipts, diaries, logs for tax returns 7 years

  • Investment purchase receipts ownership + 7 years

  • Dividend reinvestment records ownership + 7 years

  • Year-end brokerage statements ownership + 7 years

  • Mutual fund annual statements ownership + 7 years

  • Real estate purchase documents ownership + 7 years

  • Home improvement receipts and cancelled checks ownership + 7 years

  • Home repair receipts and cancelled checks warranty

  • Retirement plan annual reports permanent

  • IRA annual reports permanent

  • IRA nondeductible contributions-Form 860 permanent

  • Insurance policies life of policy + 3 years. Check with your agent. Liability for prior years can vary.

  • Divorce documents permanent

  • Loan documents term of loan + 7 years

  • Estate planning documents permanent

All records must be retained for at least the minimum period as stated in an applicable state statute or federal law or regulation. State laws may vary dramatically. Accordingly, your individual situation should be considered when defining how long to keep your records. This handout is intended as a tool. It should not be relied on or used as a substitute for professional or legal research, advice or analysis. In no event should this handout be construed as the rendering of advice or services by Bauman Associates, CPAs & Advisors.

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