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Duration of Time Records Need to Be Retained

· Income tax returns and supporting documents:
Copies of tax returns do not take up much space and if possible should be retained indefinitely. Retain supporting documents for at least four years and preferably six years.

· Residential property records:
All escrow closing statements (purchase, sale, and any refinance escrow statements) plus receipts for improvements should be kept for at least four years after the property is sold.

· Buy/Sell confirmations for stocks, bonds, and mutual funds:
Keep for at least four years after the asset is sold. This would include the record of stock dividends, splits, and reinvested dividends.

· Depreciation records:
For any rental real estate or depreciable business property you own, keep records of the property's cost, date acquired, and schedule of depreciation claimed in previous years. These records should be kept until four years after the property is sold and for an even longer period of time if the property is exchanged.

· Retirement plan contributions:
Records of non-deductible IRA deposits, employer plan stock purchased, rollovers, and KEOGH plan deposits should be kept until four years after the plan assets have been withdrawn.

· Personal records:
Important papers such as estate and gift tax returns, divorce and property settlement agreements, deeds, title insurance policies, and all trust documents should be kept in a permanent file, or perhaps in a safe deposit box.

· Miscellaneous papers:
All other documents including bank statements, canceled checks, credit card statements, deposit slips, charitable contribution receipts, and medical bills may be discarded after six years.

(This information is designed to be of general interest.  The specific techniques and information discussed may not apply to you.  Before acting on any matter contained herein, consult with your professional advisor.)


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