Preparing for Taxes
How Long Should You Keep Records and Statements?
Here’s a handy guide for how long to keep old tax returns and financial records:
1 Year: Monthly statements of financial and bank accounts, at least until an annual statement recapping the entire year’s activity arrives; copies of checks (used for tax deductible expenses); payroll statements (until your W-2 arrives).
3 Years: Federal and state income tax returns, and receipts and records relating to those returns.
6 Years: Tax returns for years with unusual activity or transactions, like the sale of real estate or significant donations, or unusual income amounts.
Indefinitely: Mortgage notes and real estate Settlement Statements, along with receipts for any improvements to your home, so you can calculate the basis value of your property when you sell the home.