When is it Okay to Throw Away Outdated Documents?

business meetingWhether they be birth certificates, mortgage documents, or insurance-related papers, most people have plenty of documents lying around that are taking up space. As such, they would like to get rid of the clutter as much as they possibly can. However, it is not always wise to pitch documents, even if they are outdated. There are certainly things that you can throw away, but you should definitely think about it first in each case.

Paid Bills and Receipts

When it comes to bills that you have already paid, you should try to keep them going back about three months. Anything older than that, you can toss. If you have all of the information online, there is no need to keep any of it. As for receipts, there is really no need to keep them unless you are planning to return something, or you need it for insurance or tax valuation.

Tax Returns

Generally speaking, you should keep the past three years of tax returns, considering that that is the time limit for them to audit returns that were done that are not fraudulent. It is also the time limit for you to amend a return.

Auto Records and Insurance Documents

You should make sure to keep the title of your car, as well as the maintenance records, as long as you have the car. As far as auto insurance cards (or any other types of insurance cards), you should keep them as long as they are effective. Once you receive a new card, you can get rid of the expired ones. There is also no need to keep paperwork for expired insurance or property that you do not own anymore.

Health Related Documents

As far as medical bills go, you should keep the ones for the current year; even then, you can get rid of them if they will not affect tax deductions or any claims that you are trying to make with them, such as workers compensation claims. You should also keep track of all of your important medical events, but you do not need all of the paperwork for each one. You just need to keep the paperwork for the ones that are currently relevant in your life.

It can be difficult to figure out what you need and what can be pitched. If you are having trouble figuring out what you should keep in your own unique set of circumstances, you should look into Philadelphia business planning attorneys, such as Pozzuolo Rodden, who can help you sort it all out. Contact us today!