June 20, 2018
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How Long Should You Hold Onto Your Records?

You should hold onto your record indefinitely, if you want to be extra cautious. For a standard audit, the IRS can ask to see records up to three years old. If you’re suspected of under reporting your income, however, the IRS can go back six years. And if you’re suspected of fraud or failure to pay your unsecured debt, they can go back indefinitely.

Housing records:

For as long as you own your home, plus at least three years for tax records (this applies to deeds, title papers, mortgages, home improvement receipts, and Tax Form 2119, Sale or Exchange of Principal Residence)

Mutual fund year-end statements:

 For as long as you own the asset or need statements for tax records. Get rid of monthly statements if all activity is shown on year-end statements.

Paycheck stubs:

Keep year-end statements for your tax records.

Cancelled checks and credit card statements:

One year, unless it pertains to taxes or major purchases you still own.

Bank statements:

One year (hold on to anything that applies to your tax records). For additional guidance in this area, talk to a certified financial planner.


Excerpted from “Money Talk” - Institute of Certified Financial Planners-by the Financial Literacy Center, Kalamazoo, MI


US Internal Revenue Service

800 829 1040


Social Security Administration


Federal Trade Commission


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800 685 1111



888 397 3742



800 888 4213


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