keeping paperwork

Marc

Distinguished Member
I've just been going through various piles of paperwork, ie bills, payslips, bank/credit card statements etc that i've found buried at the bottom of cupboards throughout my house, and decided it's high time i had a proper clearout..

i've got bank statements as far back as 1994! Not to mention all the P60,'s and P45's from my entire working life, every payslip i've been given in the past 12 years and Gas/Electric/Council bills from several house moves ago..

There are also tv license, contents insurance agreements, phone bills, virgin bills, old purchase receipts.. i don't think i've ever thrown anything away!

So now, i want to throw away anything that it won't bite me on the ass to do so, so my question is, what is it a good idea to keep and what is safe to ditch?

thanks

Marc
 

Chadford

Distinguished Member
I keep all my payslips/P60s etc forever
...likewise, they don't take up much space.

Utility bills and bank statements etc.. I keep for three years.
Receipts for anything over about £50 I'll tend to keep for a year or so.
All else gets shredded.

:)
 

fizl

Well-known Member
I think payslips and P60's you are supposed to keep for 7 years, as you can be asked to evidence that far back
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
i didn't know that about the p60's, i had all them in the "bin" pile!

so i think i'll keep all p60's and the semi recent bank statements. I have a stupid number of payslips though because i've been paid weekly for 6 or 7 years out of my career.. oh well, i suppose in the grand scheme of things they still don't take up much room!

what about school/college certificates? does anyone still look at those?
 
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7ofnine

Well-known Member
I got rid of a load of older payslips. 20+ years of them stacks up. I did keep my first ever payslip though just for a laugh.
 

Chadford

Distinguished Member
what about school/college certificates? does anyone still look at those?

...probably worth keeping for interest sake as much as anything. A lot of stuff like this I tend to scan and keep on my PC and ditch the paper copy (obviously taking care to back-up).
I've kept as scanned docs all my PC purchases for fun just to see how much I've [-]wisely spent[/-] squandered on PC kit over the years. :)
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
yeah i know what you mean, luckily i'd just had my 6 monthly water bill and yearly council tax bill so i used them when i needed proof of address for the letting agent, otherwise i had nothing.

I just went through the stack of paper i wanted to bin and i was amazed how much of it had my bank details on it, it seems everyone under the sun likes to write you a letter containing your bank details.. i don't have a shredder so i've chucked them all in the bath and i'll let nature take its course :laugh:
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
Anything which is needed for tax purposes must be kept until "the first anniversary of 31 January next following the year of assessment. For example, the records for the year ending 5 April 2009 must be kept at least until 31 January 2011", to quote from this:

Record Keeping: How long must records be retained for: Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax: Person not carrying on a trade, profession or business

You must keep them until then; you don't need them afterwards for tax purposes. Note that electronic copies of online bank statements, etc, are acceptable - see the website.

Civil debts cannot be pursued after 7 years, so paperwork older than that can also be destroyed.

Receipts should be kept for at least as long as the guarantee runs; I keep them for as long as I keep the item itself.

I suggest you keep bank statements for 7 years; electronically is fine. You don't need payslips, but the P60s might be useful.

I think there's a very simple rule, which admittedly is not all that easy to follow:

If they are not needed for purely personal or legal reasons, then keep them only for as long as having them could be used to prove something in a dispute. For example, when I pay for a service such as a hotel room with a credit card, I keep the receipt for 6 months or so just in case there is some kind of query or comeback. In other cases, once it has cleared my account and shown on the statement, I chuck it.

All paperwork relating to infrastructural work done on your house, such as extensions, rewiring, patios, heating, etc, etc, should be kept for as long as you live there: your buyer might well want to see it.

Shred everything which has private personal details on it, such as account numbers or references.
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
well in the end i managed to get the pile down to the point where it all fits in one drawer of this cabinet i have, so that'll do me just fine! The wage slips were in no particular order so in the end it was easier to just keep all of them, and the same with the bank statements.. i hope i never actually need to refer to them cos that'll be a task and a half!

thanks for the advice guys :)
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I await your next thread: Cleaning ink stains off the bath?
 

nwgarratt

Member
I have every bank statement dating back when I got my first account over 25 years ago when I was 10. I have used MS Money since 1992. I should go paperless as I don't even bother to open the statements anymore.
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
I await your next thread: Cleaning ink stains off the bath?

haha, no, you can't see the ink for all the other crap on the bath :laugh: seriously though, i think the water in portsmouth has more rust in it than water..

i'm fairly incapable of anything that doesn't involve a computer though, so i'm sure you'll see me on here asking for help on something like polyfilling all the holes i made putting those shelves up (remember those?)
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Ah yes, remember it well. I'd forgotten it was you. :smashin:
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
Ah yes, remember it well. I'd forgotten it was you. :smashin:

well after all that, i'm moving in 2 weeks so they've got to come back down again! I don't think i'll have the patience to do it all again in the new flat..
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
I have paper bank statements from way back but since signing up to online banking a few years ago (Natwest) I switched to paperless banking. Natwest provide statements going back 6 years and tbh I can't think of a reason I would want to save my online statements for beyond that period anyway
 

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