Is your filing cabinet bursting at the seams? Looking to shred but are afraid you might need it later? Here are some general rules of thumb for what can stay and what can go (check with an accountant for specifics to your situation):
- Permanently keep any records related to IRA contributions, annual summaries of retirement accounts, copies of bank records relating to mortgage & housing, taxes & business expenses, copies of bills/receipts for large purchases for proof of value.
- Copies of taxes and any related statements for 7 years.
- Pay stubs for 1 year (if it matches W-2 then shred).
For your convenience, many credit card companies, utilities and banks have copies of your statements available for viewing and printing online so you do not need to keep a hard copy on file. Check with your provider for specifics. And remember, when disposing of any documents containing personal information including (but not limited to) social security number, address and personal data be sure to shred the document to help protect your identity.