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Preparing to sell – Documents to save

How Long to Keep Important Papers

The first rule in getting your home ready to sell is to clean up and clean out .  Knowing what to keep and what to discard is always a challenge. It is particularly so when it comes to documents. There are specific time lines depending on the topic: previous home purchases, birth/marriage certificates, tax records .The handy graph below can be found with additional information at the following link:

How Long to Keep Documents
Document Length of Time
Tax documents Keep tax returns, as well as supporting documents like W-2 forms, receipts, and real estate closing statements for seven years. The IRS may audit you within three years if it suspects good-faith errors; six years if it believes you underreported your income by at least 25%; and unlimited time if you did not file a return or filed a fraudulent one.
Investment records Keep as long as you own the securities, plus another seven years [Rich]. You’ll need them to prove capital gains and losses.
Bank statements One month. You just need these long enough to check the accuracy of the transactions [Williams]. Unless the statement is your only record for a tax-related transaction, there’s no need to keep them longer. Plus, your bank will have them available online.
Retirement plan statements Most, one year, for tax purposes [Rich]. Keep Roth IRA statements until you retire, to prove you already paid tax on your contributions [Rich].
Credit card statements Shred immediately after checking the accuracy of the transactions [Williams]. These documents are a prime source for identity theft. Unless the statement is your only record for a tax-related transaction, there’s no need to keep them longer. Plus, your issuer will have them available online.
Paychecks One year, until you receive your W-2 [Rich].
Bills One year, for tax purposes [Rich].
W-2 forms Until you begin claiming Social Security. They’re the best estimate of your earnings and entitlements.

 For IRS regulations, you may access at,” IRS Publication 552: Record Keeping for Individuals”.  

When you know what you may discard, shredding is the perfect answer. April 23, 2011 from 3-6 pm, Coldwell Banker is sponsoring their 6th Annual Shred Fest. Feel free to stop by at the Standley Park Recreational Hall with a box or two and watch the paper be shredded while you say Hello to your neighbors and your local Coldwell Banker Agent, June Kubli

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Kathleen Williams

CalBRE License #00909208

Lydia Hwang Vosovic

CalBRE License #01445033

June Kubli

CalBRE License #00911089

Katie Dunahoo

CalBRE License #00694822

Coldwell Banker
930 Prospect
La Jolla, CA 92037

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