Mark E. Gunnison, CPA | Neil K. Johannes, LTP

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In response to many requests of what tax records should be kept and how long, we have prepared the following list for your reference based on Federal laws.

Income tax returns and supporting documents - Keep at least 4 years and preferable 6 if space is not critical. Once this period has elapsed, the documents can be discarded, but the returns themselves, which do not take much space, should probably be retained indefinitely.

Residential property records - All escrow statements (purchases and sale) plus receipts for improvements should be kept for at least 4 years after property is sold. (Including refinance papers)

Purchase receipts for stocks, bonds, mutual funds - These should also be kept for at least 4 years after the asset is sold. This would include 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. This record should be kept until 4 years after the property is disposed of.

Retirement plan contributions - Records of non- deductible IRA deposits, employer plan stock purchased, rollovers, and Keogh plan deposits should be kept until 4 years after the plan assets have been withdrawn.

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

Miscellaneous papers - All other documents which include bank statements, canceled checks, credit card statements, deposit slips, charitable contributions receipts, and medical bills can be discarded after 4 years.


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