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Taxes - Head Matters


9. Keeping Good Records

Use the list below to remind yourself what to keep and what you can discard.

Safe deposit box 

  • Birth certificates
  • Citizenship papers
  • Marriage certificates
  • Adoption papers
  • Divorce decrees
  • Wills
  • Death certificates
  • Deeds
  • Titles to automobiles
  • Household inventory
  • Veteran's papers
  • Bonds and stock certificates
  • Important contracts

Active File

  • Tax receipts
  • Unpaid bills
  • Paid bill receipts
  • Current bank statements
  • Current cancelled checks
  • Income tax working papers
  • Employment records
  • Health benefit information
  • Credit card information
  • Insurance policies
  • Copies of wills
  • Family health records
  • Appliance manuals and warranties
  • Receipts of items under warranty
  • Education information
  • Inventory of safe deposit box (and key)
  • Loan statements
  • Loan payment books
  • Receipts of expensive items not yet paid for

Dead Storage
All Active File Papers Over Three Years Old
Items to Discard

  • Salary statements (after checking on W-2 Form)
  • Cancelled checks for cash or non-deductible expenses
  • Expired warranties
  • Coupons after expiration date
  • Other records no longer needed 

Destroy all personal documents
It’s best to destroy all personal and financial documents with a shredder or at least by ripping them into small pieces. If this information falls into the wrong hands, you could be a victim of identity theft. Remember, most paper documents can be recycled.

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