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Tech Maven
01-07-2008, 08:13 AM
This list from Real Simple will tell you at a glance which financial records you should retain and which ones you can dump.

Toss Every Month
# ATM And bank-deposit slips, after you've recorded the amounts in your check register and checked them against your monthly bank statement.
# Credit-card receipts, after you've checked to make sure the item appears correctly on your monthly statement.
# Sales receipts for minor purchases, after you've satisfactorily used the item and if it has no warranty.

Toss After One Year
# Monthly bank and credit-card Statement (if you don't itemize deductions).
# Monthly or quarterly brokerage and mutual-fund statements, after you've reconciled them with your year-end summary.
# Monthly mortgage statements, as long as your year-end statement clearly shows the total amount you've paid in interest and property taxes over the course of the year.
# Phone and utility bills (as long as you don't have a home office, use your phone for business calls, or anticipate any need to prove long-term residency).
# Paycheck stubs, after you've reconciled them with your annual W-2 or 1099 forms.

Retain for Seven Years
# W-2 AND 1099 forms.
# Year-end statements from credit-card companies.
# Phone and utility bills (only if you deduct any portion for business expenses, have more than one home, or have moved within the past few years).
# Canceled checks and receipts/statements for: annual mortgage interest and property taxes, deductible business expenses, child-care bills, out-of-pocket medical costs, or any other tax-deductible expense.

Keep Indefinitely
# Your annual tax returns. Your year-end summaries from financial-services companies.
# Confirmation slips that list the purchase price of any investments you own.
# Home-improvement records.
# Receipts for major purchases. (any item whose replacement cost exceeds the deductible on your homeowners' or renters' insurance policy).
# Beneficiary designations.

Written by Diane Harris
April 2000,21770,688987,00.html