I’m not suggesting that you shred important tax documents or shred anything you don’t want the IRS to know about, but you should shred some of your excess paper records to clear out the clutter. I’m not a financial expert but here’s what I do as the tax documents start coming in the mail:
- Copies of previous tax returns – Never shred
- Receipts and records used for previous tax returns – Shred after 5 years (although some experts suggest saving for up to 7)
- Previous year’s pay stubs – Verify your W2 when it arrives and then shred them (not the W2!)
- Retirement statements – Never shred (at least the year end summaries)
- Bills – As long as you can’t use it as a tax deduction, shred after you get proof of payment
Any other suggestions?