How Long To Keep Paperwork and Records for Taxes for Personal

At one point or another in your life, the IRS is going to send a letter asking for updated forms or for you to fix a mistake in your tax return. Having access to the required records will make your response and updated forms infinitely easier to deal with. I’m fanatically organized when it comes to taxes, and it happened to me. Funny enough, I was threatened with a fine if I didn’t respond promptly with the appropriate fix which would have netted me a larger refund. Anecdote aside, this guide will provide you with an outline on how long you will need to keep all manners of receipts and records.

Updated: January 2017. Checked and verified by a California based CPA, Tennessee based CPA, and California based estate planner.

Need Record Retention Periods for Business?

Recommended Record Retention Periods for Personal Records

In Retention Period Order

Permanent Records

  • Birth certificates
  • Correspondence – Legal and important matters
  • Custody agreements
  • Death certificates
  • Divorce papers
  • Employment taxes for household employees (records and returns)
  • Existing insurance records
  • IRA contributions
  • Marriage certificates
  • Retirement and pension records

Two Years

  • Bank reconciliations
  • Duplicate deposit slips

Four Years

  • Insurance policies which have expired

Six Years

  • Bank statements
  • Credit card statements

Seven Years

  • Canceled stock and bond certificates
  • Home and home improvements – including closing papers, purchase and sales invoices, proof of payment, insurance papers, Form 2119
  • K-1’s from partnerships, trusts, S-corps

Recommended Record Retention Periods for Personal Records

In Alphabetical Order

Bank reconciliations

Two Years

Bank statements

Six Years

Birth certificates

Permanent

Canceled stock and bond certificates

Seven Years

Correspondence – Legal and important matters

Permanent

Credit card statements

Six Years

Custody agreements

Permanent

Death certificates

Permanent

Divorce papers

Permanent

Duplicate deposit slips

Two Years

Employment taxes for household employees (records and returns)

Permanent

Existing insurance records

Permanent

Home and home improvements – including closing papers, purchase and sales invoices, proof of payment, insurance papers,

Form 2119

Seven Years

Insurance policies which have expired

Four Years

IRA contributions

Permanent

K-1s from partnerships, trusts, S-corps

Seven Years

Marriage certificates

Permanent

Retirement and pension records

Permanent

Share: