TULSA - James in Sand Springs wrote to ask "How long should you keep copies of records like tax returns, ATM receipts, paid bills, etc.?"
CPA's say absolutely keep tax returns and all supporting documentation for three years. 10 years is recommended to be on the safe side because some lenders may want to go back further in your financial history.
Credit and debit cards and ATM receipts you can shred as soon as the purchase shows up correctly on your credit card or bank statement. The exception is big ticket items like jewelry, electronics, appliances or cars. Receipts will come in handy if the item is lost or stolen and you have to file an insurance claim.
Also, going paperless is great for the environment but CPA's say don't rely on a company's online information for long-term records. If a bank or company purges records or goes out of business you could be left without vital financial information.
Remember when you do toss records shred them before throwing them away to protect your sensitive, personal, information.
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