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How Long Should You Keep Paperwork?
Find Out, Then Bring Your Unneeded Items to Shred-It Day
3500 University Ave., Madison
Thurs., May 27 | 3 pm - 7 pm
Fri., May 28 | 10 am - 2 pm
Sat., May 29 | 9 am - 1 pm
Items are shredded & recycled for free.
It's a great time to start cleaning out old paperwork from your files. Learn how long you should keep documentation, then have the items you are no longer keeping shredded and recycled for free at Shred-It Day.
What to Keep Permanently—Birth certificates, marriage licenses, wills, house deeds, car titles, adoption papers, custody agreements and divorce proceedings. These should be kept in a safe deposit box or fireproof safe. When you sell your house or car, you can get rid of the papers.
You will also want to keep nondeductible contributions to an IRA to show that you paid taxes on it when you’re ready to make a withdrawal.
Keep bills from large purchases like furniture, computers, jewelry, etc. They can be kept in an insurance file for proof of value in case they are lost or damaged.
What to Keep for Seven Years—Tax returns or any receipts from taxes (alimony, charitable contributions, mortgage interest and retirement plan contributions).
What to Get Rid of & Timelines
Remember to keep anything that has tax implications.
- Monthly Bill Statements—Once the item has cleared your account, you can shred the statement. Or, keep for up to a year to see how your spending varies.
- Paycheck Stubs—Keep for one year. When you receive your W2, verify that everything is correct, then shred the year’s worth.
- Banking Statements & Checks—Keep checks and banking statements related to taxes, business expenses, home improvements and mortgage payments. Otherwise, only keep items for a year.
- Credit Card Statements—Keep your original receipts until you receive your monthly statement. Then compare the two. If they match, shred them.
Want to lessen your paperwork altogether?
Web Branch conveniently stores your statements and checks online for free to reference when you need them, plus you can track your spending with Money Management Tools.
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