How long should we Fools hang onto statements from our financial institutions? Six months, a year, more?
How long should we Fools hang onto statements from our financial institutions? Six months, a year, more? ****At least until the statute of limitations expires on the tax year in question.Most of the time this is three years from the due date of the return; IE - 1999 return filed 4-15-00 = a throwaway date of 4-15-03.I generally recommend the current year plus 4 years prior.This way you are purging the fifth year each spring.Pete
Do most people keep statements that long? I believe I have them all - most of them, anyway - somewhere, but what happens if someone doesn't?Wow. That's a lot of paper sitting around gathering dust. I had been looking forward to disposing of most of those old statements once I found them. Now I guess I should get an accordian binder for all of it.
I keep cancelled checks for the year, pull the ones that document entries on my tax return and use therest for firewood in late April. Completed returns anddocuments should be kept minimum 3 years and anyreturn having to do with a home sale or rental and investment property could be kept 7 years or forever :) If you're a normal type of taxpayer, earned income, some unearned income etc., the above would work for you. If you're pushing the line on anything, keep your documentation for a loonnnng time. (I have a 2 drawer file in the basement filled with old tax returns) If you would ever be audited and had toprove that your living expenses to the IRS to be reasonable, you would have to go to your bank andhave them make copies of statements and checks,that's an IF. You make the decision.
I use a credit union, so I don't get the checks back, but I do keep ALL the copies the checkbook makes.I also keep ALL tax returns.But why should we bother keeping bank statements at all? I understand you would need them in the event of an audit, but, in that somewhat unlikely event, couldn't you just ask your financial institution to forward copies of them to the IRS?I apologize if I sound ignorant. I became Foolish just this year.
>But why should we bother keeping bank statements >at all? I understand you would need them in the >event of an audit, but, in that somewhat unlikely >event, couldn't you just ask your financial institution >to forward copies of them to the IRS?Two reasons that quickly come to mind:1. Yes you can get copies from your bank. But it usually takes some time to get them, several weeks or more from some banks (and the further back the longer it typically takes)2. When you get the copies from the bank, most charge you for this - some by the item, some by the page. Can add up if you need copies of 2 years worth of statements for an audit.
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