How Long Should a Checking Account Statement Be Kept?

Time Frame

Keep your bank statements for at least one year. After that, store any statements that deal with taxes, business expenses and home improvement expenses. Shred statements that contain no vital transactions.

Bills

Keep copies of your bills for one year. Shred the bill once the canceled check from the bill has been returned, if your bank returns these checks. Store bills for items of value, such as jewelry and appliances, as proof of value in case of theft, loss or damage.

Pay Stubs

Keep all pay stubs for one year. Check to be sure your stubs match your W-2. If they do, send them to the shredder.

Taxes

Tax records should be kept for seven years. The IRS has up to three years to audit you for errors, just as you have three years to file an amended return. Should the IRS suspect you under-reported your income by 25% or more, they have six years to audit.

Recommendation

Ensure that you keep your receipts and statements organized to save yourself from paperwork panic every April.