Business Resources for Authors

How Long to Retain Financial Records

How long should you keep certain financial documents?

With our monthly @AuthorEMS #filefest, we encourage our readers to keep paper clutter at bay. However, there are valid reasons for retaining certain paperwork. But for how long?

These suggestions were excerpted from a recent issue of Money magazine:

  • Tax returns – Forever
  • Tax support documents (W-2 statement, receipts, etc.) – Six years (length of time you can be audited by the IRS)
  • Year-end investment statements – Until six years after you sell the investment, for gains/losses proof
  • Pay stubs – Until you receive your W-2
  • Home improvement receipts – Until six years after you sell the home, for tax purposes

Large purchase receipts – As long as you own the item, for warranty and insurance purposes

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