Spring Cleaning: Can this be tossed?

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CPA offers guide to determining what household financial records need to be kept and which can be shredded

Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466, barbara@eafocus.com

Rochester/Lapeer, Mich. – April 21, 2015 – The birds are chirping, trees are budding and spring is in full swing, which also means spring cleaning for many folks. When spring cleaning includes a review of financial records, Vince Mattina, Jr., CPA and managing partner of Mattina, Kent & Gibbons, P.C. (MKG), a Michigan-based CPA firm, understands many individuals are unsure how long records must be kept on file before being tossed – and which should be kept permanently.

“From leases and paychecks to licenses and deeds, it can be difficult to keep track of what records need to be kept permanently and which should be saved for only a specified period of time,” Mattina said. “It is also important to note which records belong in a safe deposit box, which can be stored on a computer and what is best saved as a paper record.”

Following are some suggestions on how long to save select financial records:
One Year: Professional licenses (after termination)
Three Years: Bank deposit slips, insurance policies (after expiration), travel records
Seven Years: Bank statements, leases, mortgage records
Ten Years: Personal property tax returns, workers compensation reports, tax records
Permanent Records: Annual financial statements, pension records, property records

Mattina says when it comes to the suggested retention time for determining how long (if at all) a document needs to be kept, begin the ‘clock’ at the end of the fiscal year in which the paper was created. Items supporting tax returns should be retained a minimum of three years after the applicable tax return was filed.

Additionally, Mattina says property and vehicle titles should always be kept in a safe deposit box. To save on the amount of paper being stored, Mattina advises that trust documents, wills and copies of tax returns can be saved on a computer or in digital format; however, beneficiary statements should be saved as hard copy, paper documents.

To view the complete “Can this be tossed?” document, click here.

About Mattina Kent & Gibbons
MKG is a Michigan-based CPA firm providing audit, accounting, tax and business consulting services to a variety of industries including manufacturing, construction, professional services, governmental, agribusiness and non-profits. To learn more, visit http://www.mkgpc.com.

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