HELP, we have 35 years of paper records!!

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Jackliz

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Joined
Mar 4, 2005
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1,287
Location
Hondo, TX
Howdy, Framily.

Here is an update of the present status of our Retirement: lotsa paperwork to sort through!!  :mad: 

I really want to know what records to keep and how long to keep them.  i.e., bank statements, income tax returns, records pertaining to the purchase and sale of houses, etc. (I found income tax returns going back to 1976!! )  Ideas, suggestions are welcome, PLEASE!

Thanks,
Liz, inundated!
 

Wendy

Site Team
Joined
May 14, 2005
Posts
12,560
Location
Colorado
5 years is usually ok for keeping records, most suggest 7 years. HOWEVER, keep in mind that the IRS can audit you back as far as they want to IF they find anything wrong (and it's up to them what's "wrong").

Wendy
6 years of college accounting comes in handy at times
 

rhmahoney

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Posts
1,405
Liz: 'I really want to know what records to keep and how long to keep them.  i.e., bank statements, income tax returns, records pertaining to the purchase and sale of houses, etc. (I found income tax returns going back to 1976!! )'

I got a Fujitsu sheet feed scanner and have offloaded bales of paper from my coach. This nifty little gadget looks like a small upright inkjet printer. You stack up to 50 pages in the top and it sends them out the bottom front, scanned on both sides. The format is PDF or JPEG, both being pictures of the documents, with no OCR.

I love to rip out interesting magazine articles and then never get around to filing them. NOw, by applying good keywords in the title, filing takes care of itself.

Therefore, my reccomendation is to scan all the financial records into the computer and delete all that you can.

So far I have less than 2 GIG of files.
 

Smoky

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Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
Liz:

I kept 5 years of tax records.

Russ:

I would love to see that scanner of yours if you have it at QZ.  I keep throwing away magazine articles because we do not have the space to save them for reference.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Records retention, ah yes.  Did that for more than a few years with my old job.

1.  Tax records -- keep three years plus the current.  The Feds have a statute of limitation of 3 years for return audit;  7 years in the event of fraud.  Most ordinary tax forms have little hazard from the latter.  However, keep 7 years if you want belt and suspenders.    Remember They have your filings.  What is important for you to keep is your backup documents.

2.  Statements -- once you have reconciled the thing, why keep it.  Keep a year if it makes you feel better.

3.  Records of property are backed up by county recorder records --- deeds, trust deeds, and mortgages.  Those records are permanent, official and public.  Same applies for birth, marraige and death records.  Keep copies of the latter for your convenience only.  BTW when the escrow closes or the loan is paid off all claims are extinguished keep the stuff for a year after.

4.  Cancelled checks?  A year for most all of them.  Some may have longer value.

5.  Records of equipment maintenance like auto repair receipts -- as long as you own the vehicle and not a day longer.

6.  Old photos, letters, lodge awards, medals -- forever, they are your memories and maybe your kids too.
 

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