FundRobot » Growth Fund » How long should I keep utility type bills after I've paid them?

Old   #1 (permalink)
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Default long keep utility type bills after i've paid them

This is one of the things I wish high school taught: how to manage the oodles of papers that pile up year after year just in case the tax man comes calling. Bank receipts, yeah, I can imagine them wanting to see those, but old water bills? Gas bills? Hospital bills? Car payments? I generally keep them for seven years, but my storage drawer is overflowing this year! What can I toss and which should I keep?

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Old   #2 (permalink)
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Default long keep utility type bills after i've paid them

I keep bills, pay stubs, and income tax returns, and financial statements for life. Never know when they might come in handy. Everything gets scanned to an OCR compatible PDF for archival purposes. Paper bills get shredded after 5 years. Keep plenty of backups of electronic files.

As a rule, the IRS can go back 3 years to audit your returns. They can go back 7 years if they suspect fraud.

There was a class action lawsuit against Union 76 about 15 years ago. Having saved all my paper gas receipts I was able to collect about $80 from the settlement fund, whereas most people received the standard $5.
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