Denver, CO (PRWEB) May 18, 2010
Spring is the time for cleaning up garages and file cabinets alike. It is important to properly shred outdated and un-needed documents. This makes organization easier and reduces documents that could be stolen or used by identity thieves. The problem is when does a document become outdated?
Shred Nations has issued some guidance on what documents you need to save and what to shred. These are basic guidelines. Always check with your accountant or lawyer if you have specific questions on your situation.
Tax Returns. The accepted rule for tax records is seven years. This includes all the backup documentation used in the preparation of the return.
Bank Statements. Keep the last three months worth of statements on file once transactions are verified. Older statements can be downloaded from the bank if needed.
ATM Receipts. Keep until the check book is balanced.
Credit Card Statements. The last three statements should be retained. Should be held longer if purchase information is needed for taxes or if the card offers a warranty on purchases.
Medical Information. Premium statements, doctor bills, prescriptions, hospital bills, etc. should be held for five years from the date of the service.
Home Insurance. Retain policies for five years. If there are any open problems then increase to ten years of policies.
Pay Stubs. Every paycheck contains the history for previous stubs. Only save the last one. The exception is if applying for a new mortgage; which usually requires two months of pay stubs.
Investment Documents. Prospectuses, privacy notices, address confirmations, and ballots don’t need to be kept unless acted upon. Retain three months of balance statements. Hold the confirmations for the purchase of investments until sold and taxes filed for the year.
Home Repairs. Keep receipts for ten years for guarantees of workmanship. Get the satisfactions of lien from any contractors doing work. Keep those documents as long as you own the property.
Utility Bills. Keep as part of tax information if needed or shred once the payment clears.
Mortgage Documents. Keep the loan information for the duration of the mortgage. After the mortgage is paid off the bank is obligated to record a satisfaction of mortgage. Keep this document as long as you own the home. Keep the current monthly statement.