How Long to Keep Pay Stubs

Couple looking at banking statement and laptop computer.
Image Credit: Milenko Bokan/iStock/Getty Images

Paperwork is a constant in life, especially with recurring documents such as pay stubs, bank statements and household bills, and it can pile up quickly. Knowing which papers to save and which ones to toss can help alleviate the problem. Pay stubs in particular are documents that should be saved for a specific amount of time before discarding.

Pay Stubs and Taxes

You should save all pay stubs for the current year until you receive a copy of Form W-2 from your employer at the end of the year. Compare the figures on your last pay stub for the year with the figures on your Form W-2. If the numbers match, then keep the Form W-2 for tax filing purposes and discard all of the old pay stubs. If the numbers do not match, then take the last pay stub and Form W-2 to your employer's accounting department and have the numbers reconciled. In the event of an audit from the IRS, your Form W-2 serves as your income verification for that year; the pay stubs will not be necessary.