Buried in paper? What to keep and what to toss

Posted at 7:27 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 20:30:14-04

If you have been hanging on to a lot of paper such as receipts, tax returns or warranties, there may come a time when you will want to throw things away.

But, before you toss, here are a few things that you might want to do to avoid having “purger’s remorse."

There are a lot of things that can be tossed such as receipts, warranties, and owners’ manuals for items that you may no longer own or are well past their warranty or return periods. But, receipts and warranties may come in handy later if required for a class-action lawsuit.

Wondering what to keep related to banking, investments, or tax returns? Contact your tax professional or an adviser before tossing. Although it is generally recommended that these documents be kept for three to seven years, there could be circumstances for keeping some of these records indefinitely.

Deciding what medical and education records to keep can also be tricky. Although medical facilities and schools tend to keep copies for quite some time, these may eventually be purged. Some of these records may be needed for tax purposes, proof of coursework, or for treating a medical condition in the future.

In rare cases, you may need the original. But, to cut down on the amount of paper, consider keeping digital copies of these items and keep a backup at more than one location.

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