Financial Spring Cleaning

Assuming you have filed your tax return (unless you have an extension) have you thought about what you will do with all the receipts needed for preparation of your return?  This is a good time to do some financial spring cleaning.

So let’s focus on what to save and what to toss.

  • Copies of filed tax returns — keep them forever
  • Supporting documentation — income records six years and deductions three years
  • Unusual transactions — bad debt deductions, excessive medical and contributions and other “out of the ordinary” items should be kept forever
  • Real Estate records — records should be kept for as long as you own the property plus three years after you sell it.  Anything that substantiates cost, including improvements, refinancing documents, insurance papers and related transactions should be retained indefinitely
  • Securities — all records of purchases, sales, date acquired and sold, dividend reinvestment, stock splits and investment expenses should be maintained as long as you own the investments plus not less than three years after you dispose of them
  • IRA’s — keep supporting records including reporting forms until all the money is withdrawn from the account
  • Other — The IRS requires that all records pertaining to multiple years like carryovers, carrybacks, casualty losses and carryforwards should be maintaining  indefinitely
  • Business records — generally employment records should be maintained for a minimum of four years.  Other records like books of original entry, general and subsidiary ledgers and journals should be retained indefinitely

As with any important financial decisions, before disposing with any records, consult with a financial professional.


Contact if you have questions pertaining to your financial spring cleaning.