I took a search through the site and read the FAQs and I really don't think this is off-topic here as it does have to do with personal finance. And I did find this thread, but I didn't see any official documentation.

Where would I find the schedule for required record retention for individuals? I've found the state statute requirements for agencies, the business schedules, but I can't seem to find the record retention guidelines for individuals (bank statements, filed taxes, receipts, etc). I'm looking to find some sort of official documentation. I'm located in the USA. Any help is greatly appreciated!


2 Answers 2


Here is an IRS Publication 552 covering records retention

The publication covers many areas, including proof of income, bank statements, old tax returns. There is a table that talks about how long to keep the records. In general it is 3 to 6 years. But for property it is 3 to 6 years after you dispose of the property.


Indeed the IRS publication references the 3-6 year time span. And no limit for fraud.

But. I get a notice that some stock I owned 10 years ago has a settlement pending, and the records of this stock purchase and sale would potentially get me back some money.

I get my Social Security statement (the one they stopped sending, but this was before then) and I see the 1995 income shows zero.

Both of these were easily resolved with my returns going all the way back, and my brokerage statement as well. For the brokerage, I recently started downloading all statements as PDFs, and storing a copy away from home. Less concerned about the bank statements as I've never had an issue where I'd need them.

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