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How long should I keep bank statements, credit card bills for?
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# 1
angela72
Old 16-05-2011, 12:20 PM
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Default How long should I keep bank statements, credit card bills for?

I am having a child free morning and trying to go through some paperwork. However, I am not sure how long I need to keep some paperwork for. I am a stay at home mum.

How long should bank statements, credit card bills, Next directory accounts be kept for?

Also being an internet shopper, do I need to keep the paperwork relating to my purchases, and if so for how long?

Thank you for all advice.

Edited to add: Utility bills, how long for those!
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# 2
scottishblondie
Old 16-05-2011, 12:22 PM
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I keep all financial paperwork for 6 years, as this is how far back most financial disputes can go.

As for stuff relating to purchases, I keep it as long as I have the item if it is something pricey, otherwise for as long as the guarantee etc.
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# 3
grizzly1911
Old 16-05-2011, 12:37 PM
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6 years, as SB said, is the standard, both legally under the Statute of Limitations (IIRC) and for the Tax Man if you have savings interest or investments.

I tend to keep credit card bills for the same reason in case anything big breaksdown. Credit card companies have a duty to ensure goods/services are fit for purpose if you spend over 100, or pay for part of it on your card and the total price is over 100.

Receipts depends on size cost quality of the item and worth to you - at least 12 months or guarantee period for bigger things or up to 5 years for a plasma or washing machine.
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# 4
Evilm
Old 17-05-2011, 10:50 AM
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6 full financial years. So until right now I should be able to access my records back to April 05-April 06.

That's the oldest year that the tax office could re-examine if they wanted to (not that they normally go back that far but they can legally do so). Its also the limit on how many years debts can be pursued for without contact.
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# 5
rawkinrich
Old 03-12-2011, 1:41 PM
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Am I right in saying that I could keep the last years paper bank statements, and then print past statements from my online banking account if need be?
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# 6
olly300
Old 03-12-2011, 5:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawkinrich View Post
Am I right in saying that I could keep the last years paper bank statements, and then print past statements from my online banking account if need be?
Some places don't accept printed copies of bank statements so I would always keep the paper copies.
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# 7
meer53
Old 03-12-2011, 5:39 PM
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I keep receipts from big purchases, bin the rest ! I don't get paper statements so would only have online copies anyway. The only way i would keep stuff for 6 years would be if i was running a business, otherwise i think it's unneccessary.
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# 8
Gromitt
Old 03-12-2011, 7:48 PM
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I don't have any bank statements, I check my online account every week or so, so I don't really see the point. If I want a statement, I can print one or request one for free.

For purchase receipts, I keep them as long as the warranty is valid for, so between 12 and 36 months normally (or whenever I get around to throwing them out)

Utility bills: 3 months minimum, or until I get around to throwing them out.
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# 9
MrBRCo
Old 09-03-2013, 4:42 PM
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Hi,

After I had a bonfire last weekend I thought it prudent to check afterwards how long I should have kept my records, I checked this website and then thought 'perhaps I should have kept some of that'.

Anyway, after downloading what was available from my bank, and then deciding to check what HMRC say about the matter I stumbled across this (google search HMRC record-keeping & the HMRC rk-bk1.pdf ). I'm now happy that I've got all the records I need.

My understanding is that an individual with only employment income would need to keep bank statements, P45, P60, P11D, etc for 12 months after a self assessment return - e.g. tax year 11/12 self assessment 31 Jan 13 - keep records until January 2014 or 15 months after the return if the return is late or an investigation has been opened by HMRC.

I hope this helps, and although I agree with the 5 full years after the end of a tax year for traders/businesses I don't think this is the case for individuals.

None of the above should be taken as advice - just based upon my interpretation on the links above.
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# 10
lippy1923
Old 09-03-2013, 7:56 PM
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Can I ask all those who do keep statements, credit card bills, utility bills etc for the last 6 years.... where do you keep it all?

I've got overflowing files and boxes with stuff but it seems like a heck of a lot of storage space is needed..... maybe I need a bigger house
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# 11
Gromitt
Old 09-03-2013, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lippy1923 View Post
Can I ask all those who do keep statements, credit card bills, utility bills etc for the last 6 years.... where do you keep it all?
On a USB key (plus backups of course), where else?

If I bought something expensive, then I would keep the paper version for a few years, and then scan and recycle.
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# 12
Mojisola
Old 09-03-2013, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gromitt View Post
I don't have any bank statements, I check my online account every week or so, so I don't really see the point. If I want a statement, I can print one or request one for free.
It's worth doing an exercise where you pretend that you've died and get someone to be your "executor". How would they find out what bank accounts you have, etc.

In the past, people have counted on finding paperwork to sort out estates. It's much harder these days if everything is done online.
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