Although many financial documents can be thrown away, tax returns should always be kept, according to a Kiplinger article. Tax returns provide valuable information for future purchases.

There are certain financial records that don’t belong in the shredder, according to Kiplinger.

The IRS has three years to audit a tax return after the filing deadline. Any supporting documents such as credit-card statements, canceled checks, receipts to show deductions, proof of charities donations, mortgage interest or capital gains paperwork can be shredded.

The records listed above should be kept for three years. After that, it’s not necessary.

Tax returns, however, should be kept forever. The returns can be used to show information when applying for a mortgage or getting disability insurance. The paper form isn’t necessary if you keep a digital copy to cut down on the space it takes.

Stock and mutual fund purchase records, Form 8606, which reports nondeductible IRA contributions, and home-purchase and improvement documents should be kept more than three years. Records that show home improvements should be kept until three years after the home sells.

Documents like brokerage statements, credit-card receipts and pay stubs can be shredded as soon as you log them, check the costs with your monthly billing statements, or use them to report business expenses for tax purposes.

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