How Long Should I Keep Utility Bills
Other documents, including utility bills and insurance documents, are also worth keeping hold of. You should keep your insurance policy documents for as long as the policy remains valid, whilst your utility bills will differ depending on the specifics.
Energy bills are worth keeping as suppliers can request back payments on estimated policies if they realise that their estimations have been below what you have used. Meanwhile, if you are working from home, utility bills including Wi-Fi, energy, and phone bills can be relevant for tax purposes. Consequently, they should be kept for as long as you would keep all other tax records.
Discarding Documents: How Long You Should Keep Bills Before Shredding
When its time to get rid of documents, dont toss them in the trash. Identity thieves may be able to find your sensitive information if you throw away the papers intact.
Instead, invest in a shredder. Use it to destroy junk mail and documents that contain your personal information, including bills and bank statements. You also can use it to cut up old credit, debit and identification cards, if your shredder can accommodate plastic.
What Financial Records And Paperwork Can You Throw Away
There are some documents you can toss. As a rule, once a document has been replaced by a newer version, its safe to dispose of the older copy. And lets face it, do you really need that electricity bill from your old house back in 2014?
Theres also no need to hang on to credit card receipts once youve reconciled them against your bank statements, unless theyre needed for warranties. You should probably keep hold of credit card and bank statements for a year but you can throw away other household paperwork like utility bills.
Don’t Miss: Chase Pay With Zelle
How Long To Keep 401k Statements
When it comes to how long to keep 401k statements, you should follow the plan above.
Keep the quarterly statements until you get your annual statement. If the annual statement looks good, toss the quarterly statements.
You should keep the annual statements until you sell the investments in your 401k plan or roll it over into an IRA or other 401k plan.
On a related note, if you make both deductible and non-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA, you want to keep the records of nondeductible IRA contributions.
When it comes time to withdraw money from these accounts, you want to be able to have record so you are not paying tax twice.
How Long To Keep Your Records
Generally, you must keep all required records and supporting documents for a period of six years from the end of the last tax year they relate to.
The tax year:
- is the fiscal period for corporations
- is the calendar year for individuals
- varies for trusts based on the type
The rules for the record retention period are similar under the following legislations:
- the Income Tax Act
- the Excise Act, 2001
- the Air Travellers Security Charge Act
In some situations, you must retain your records for a different period of time. Below is a list of these situations, as well as the retention periods that apply to each of them:
Recommended Reading: Does Ibc Bank Have Zelle
How Long To Keep Tax Returns
Keep all income tax returns, deductible receipts, receipts for charitable contributions, and any other tax related records for 7 years.
You probably even want to keep your actual tax returns permanently.
- Read now:Learn the truth about tax deductions
The IRS has 7 years to audit you if they feel that you made an error on your return.
Additionally, the IRS has 6 years to challenge your return if they feel you under reported gross income by 25% or more.
And there is no time limit on how far back you can get audited if the IRS feels that you filed a fraudulent return.
Lastly, you have three years to file an amended return if you made an error and are claiming a refund.
The simple solution is to just keep all of your personal tax records so you never have to worry.
How Long Should I Keep Records
The length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event which the document records. Generally, you must keep your records that support an item of income, deduction or credit shown on your tax return until the period of limitations for that tax return runs out.
The period of limitations is the period of time in which you can amend your tax return to claim a credit or refund, or the IRS can assess additional tax. The information below reflects the periods of limitations that apply to income tax returns. Unless otherwise stated, the years refer to the period after the return was filed. Returns filed before the due date are treated as filed on the due date.
Note: Keep copies of your filed tax returns. They help in preparing future tax returns and making computations if you file an amended return.
Recommended Reading: Ebags Chase Pay
If You Have Records Connected To Property
The standard three year period of limitations applies to any deductions you make related to your property But sometimes the length of time between when you dispose or sell your property and when you no longer need to keep those documents can be longer than 3 years.
Say you dispose of a property by selling it during the 2018 tax year, report the financial gain on your 2020 tax return, and file your tax return right on the tax deadline of April 17, 2021. That means youâd need to keep records connected to the property until April 17, 2024 .
These records usually include deeds, titles, and cost basis records .
How Long Should You Keep Bank Statements
Statements from your bank and credit card companies arrive regularly, either by mail or electronically. Reviewing them is an important step in keeping your finances in order, but how long should you keep them once you’ve looked them over?
Several factors affect how long you should hold on to bank and credit card statements. In most cases you should save them at least until you’ve filed taxes for that year and resolved any pending fraud disputes, but storing them away for longer may pay off in the future.
Also Check: Editing Bank Statements
How Can I Keep Financial Documents Safe
Both paper and electronic documents need to be kept safe, from loss, damage and theft. Financial documents can be highly valuable to criminals looking to commit identity theft, in particular bank statements and utility bills, which can be used as proof of identity or address. Lost or destroyed statements can also be a pain if you need to prove your income or resolve a dispute regarding a financial product.
Paper documents that you wish to keep should be stored somewhere secure, like a locked filing cabinet or even in a safe if you have one. Older documents, that you have decided not to keep, should be shredded before being thrown in the recycling or rubbish bin. Ripping a letter up is not always enough, as it can be pieced back together to reveal key information.
Electronic documents should also be locked away using secured passwords and encryption. If you store bank statements or bills in your email or on a cloud server, make sure to use a strong, random password for the account, and enable two-step verification where possible. If you store documents on a hard drive, make sure it is in a password-protected folder on a secure computer.
If you are worried about the security of your personal data, your Equifax Credit Report & Score, which includes WebDetect, is free for the first 30 days then available for Â£7.95 monthly, and alerts you daily if we find your personal data on websites used by fraudsters.
How Long Do You Need To Keep Credit Card Statements
Itâs always a good idea to review your account statements right away to check for potential billing errors. But you may want to keep your statements for at least 60 days. Thatâs because, under the Fair Credit Billing Act , the credit card issuer must receive written notice of any errors within 60 days of it sending you the statement containing the error.
In some circumstances, you may want to keep your statement even longer. Here are a few examples:
Recommended Reading: Does Ibc Bank Use Zelle
Regular Statements Pay Stubs
Keep either a digital or hard copy of your monthly bank and credit card statements for the last year. Its a good idea to keep your digital copies stored online if you choose to go paperless. You should also hold on to pay stubs so that you can use them to verify the accuracy of your Form W-2 when tax season arrives.
How To Organize Your Financial Paperwork
Now that you know what financial records to keep and what you can get rid of, you can focus on organizing financial documents you plan to keep.
Your first step is to separate your financial statements into 2 piles, a keep pile and a shred pile.
Use the guidelines I outlined in this post for what you should be keeping and for how long.
To save you some time, here is a PDF you can print out with all of the info.
You might think once you have your two piles you are done organizing your financial paperwork.
But you arent.
You have one more organizing step to do.
Take your keep pile and go through it again.
This time, you will make 2 more piles, an active pile and a storage pile.
Here is what you should keep in the active pile, which should be accessible because chances are you will need to get a hold of these from time to time.
- Appliance manuals, warranties and service contracts
- Bank statements
- Master financial account numbers list
- Receipts for items under warranty
- Safe deposit box inventory
- Tax receipts, such as those received for charitable deductions
Your storage pile is for all of the financial statements you are keeping that are over 1 year old.
In some cases, this wont apply to everything.
For example, for tax returns, you will want to keep the prior years return in the active pile, but everything older than that can go in storage.
And while product manuals are not considered a financial statement, I still included them in this list above because they are important.
Recommended Reading: Does Chase Bank Offer Boat Loans
Tips For Banking Responsibly
- Organization, including keeping track of your bank statements, is an important part of managing your finances. But as you keep a paper trail and verify the accuracy of your statements, it can be advantageous to have expert advocate in your corner. If you want someone to help you organize your entire financial life, consider talking with a financial advisor. An advisor is an expert who can give you guidance based on your specific financial situation and goals.
- Its great to bank at a branch near you, but you can probably find higher rates online. Regardless of where you live, here are some of the best high-interest savings accounts.
How Long To Hold On To Financial Records In Canada
Is paper clutter taking over your home? Is it difficult to find important paperwork? Are you wondering just how long to hold on to financial records?
If so, youre not alone. Many people have a problem with paper clutter. But just how long do you really need to hold on to it all?
Below is a list that you can use when dealing with all of the papers in your home.
Also Check: Td Overdraft
The Irs Period Of Limitations And Other Considerations
If youve got a mountain of paper bills and statements piling up at home, you may be wondering what you need to keep and what can go in the shredder. When it comes to bank statements, you typically need to have access to them for at least three years. However, in some cases, youll need them for up to seven years.
Learn more about why its necessary to keep bank statements, for how long, and what happens if you dont.
How Long To Keep Records In Canada
Life generates quite a lot of paperwork. From business records, to personal records, it can be overwhelming to keep track of what you need to keep, and for how long.To help sort it out, weve compiled this tip sheet of how long to keep records in Canada!
Read Also: Www.bankofamerica.com/cashpay Sign In
How To Handle Documents After Death
How do you handle these documents above? Because identity theft is a real threat, youll need a strategy for keeping these forms and papers above safe. Follow these document safety tips below:
- Label all folders and files with your relatives name and the year
- Dont keep things longer than you need to
- Use a secure filing cabinet or folder
- Keep your loved ones documents separate from your own
- Store backups online in a secure cloud folder
While it might seem smart to hang onto everything, this isnt always the case. Keeping things too long puts your relative at risk of fraud or identity theft. Having more papers means its more likely you misplace something along the way. Theft is more common than you think.
How do you dispose of documents securely? The most crucial step is shredding. Never throw anything away without shredding it first. To take it further, use a dark marker to block out any names or identifying information before destroying them.
When securing documents online, be careful about what service you use. Cloud security is a revolutionary way to secure your files. However, you still should pay close attention to permissions and access. When in doubt, ask a professional.
How Long To Keep Business Records
You want to keep business documents for as long as the business is operating.
Even then, you may want to keep all of your records for 5 years after the business ends, just in case the IRS or your state tax authority has any questions.
In terms of business records, this means everything, including:
- Articles of organization
- State and Federal organization files
- Bank statements
- Payroll records
- Tax returns
The more you keep, the less headache it will be to prove something if someone has a question.
Recommended Reading: Chase Have Zelle
Investing And Retirement Account Statements
Finally, youll also want to pay attention to investing and retirement account statements. These are essential to estate planning. Assuming your loved one had a will and testament, the passing on of these funds and assets should be clear. If there was no formal will, the matter might need to be taken to probate court.
Because these forms relate to funds and assets, dont overlook them. Theyre usually one of the first things youll handle after the death of a loved one.
How Long To Keep Receipts
You can shred receipts once you verify your bank or credit card statement is correct, or the warranty or return period has passed.
For receipts that relate to home or business expenses, you will want to hold onto those until you sell the house or business.
Also you want to keep any receipt that can be used for tax purposes, so you have a paper backup in case the IRS comes calling.
For receipts you plan to hold on to for a long time, like home or business expenses, you might want to consider scanning them into a digital file.
This is because over time, the ink on the receipts tends to fade and a blank receipt isnt going to do you much good.
Another option would be to take a picture of the receipt so you have a copy of it.
Don’t Miss: Ibc Deposit Express
How Long Will A Bank Keep Your Banking Records
Banks are required to keep records of all accounts for a minimum of 5 years by law. Some banks may keep records longer, especially if they are electronic.
In the event that personal banking records have been lost, banks have records of accounts and transactions for years. Depending on the bank, and whether its a state or federal bank or a credit union, the records for each individual account can be kept for varying amounts of time, with a minimum of 5 years after closing the account. However, for different accounts and different purposes, like mortgages and loans, the banks have a different standard for record retention.
It is highly suggested that each person retain their own personal records for up to 10 years after the accounts at a bank are closed. This is also highly regarded as a safe minimum for any tax records as well. Any records that may involve a government entity should be kept for at least a minimum of 2 years, if not longer, in the case of an audit or in the rare case of the bank not maintaining the records through theft or software issues. When an individual has a credit card through a bank, the account only needs to become dormant in order for the ban to consider it closed, but these records must be retained for 5 years after closing or dormancy as well.