How Long Should You Keep Your Statements?
We all have one – that desk drawer or folder stuffed with financial paper statements. Every once in a while, you might go through and throw out everything you don’t “think” you need anymore. But do you really know how long you should be keeping your statements and receipts, and why?
One important factor to consider is your tax returns. The IRS has three years from your filing date to audit your return for good-faith errors, and six years to challenge your return if it thinks you underreported your gross income by 25% or more. Bankrate.com offers suggestions on how long you should keep different financial records:
- Tax returns, canceled checks/receipts, and records for tax deductions taken: Seven years
- IRA contribution records: Permanently, to prove you already paid tax when the time comes to withdraw
- Retirement/savings plan statements: Keep quarterly statements from retirement plans until you receive annual summary; keep annual summaries until you retire or close the account.
- Brokerage statements: Until you sell the securities
- Bills: Keep bills for big purchases, such as jewelry, appliances, cars, furniture, etc., in an insurance file permanently for proof of value in the event of loss or damage; keep other bills for one year.
- Credit card receipts and statements: Keep original receipts until you get your monthly statements; keep statements for seven years if tax-related expenses are documented.
- Paycheck stubs: One year
- House records: Keep records of expenses incurred in selling and buying the property for six years; keep records documenting purchase price and cost of all permanent improvements until you sell your home.
- National Iron Bank and other bank monthly statements: One year, or however long you’re allowed to challenge incorrect information.
It’s important to keep the records you need organized in the case of an IRS audit, the loss, damage or sale of your assets, or errors in your accounts. Luckily, most financial records can now be sent and stored electronically, reducing the frustration of paper clutter and the risk of accidentally throwing out something you may need.
National Iron Bank offers e-statements to make storing your monthly credit union statements easier than ever! Sign up for e-statements and you’ll be able to view, save and print your statements as needed. We’ll send you an email every month letting you know when your statement is available for viewing. Store statements on your computer or a flash drive, or access up to 60 months’ worth of statements online.
Sign up for e-statements today and keep your financial life organized!