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  • FIRST POST
    angela72
    How long should I keep bank statements, credit card bills for?
    • #1
    • 16th May 11, 12:20 PM
    How long should I keep bank statements, credit card bills for? 16th May 11 at 12:20 PM
    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!
Page 1
    • scottishblondie
    • By scottishblondie 16th May 11, 12:22 PM
    • 1,901 Posts
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    scottishblondie
    • #2
    • 16th May 11, 12:22 PM
    • #2
    • 16th May 11, 12:22 PM
    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.
    • grizzly1911
    • By grizzly1911 16th May 11, 12:37 PM
    • 9,834 Posts
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    grizzly1911
    • #3
    • 16th May 11, 12:37 PM
    • #3
    • 16th May 11, 12:37 PM
    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.
    "If you act like an illiterate man, your learning will never stop... Being uneducated, you have no fear of the future.".....

    "big business is parasitic, like a mosquito, whereas I prefer the lighter touch, like that of a butterfly. "A butterfly can suck honey from the flower without damaging it," "Arunachalam Muruganantham
  • Evilm
    • #4
    • 17th May 11, 10:50 AM
    • #4
    • 17th May 11, 10:50 AM
    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.
  • rawkinrich
    • #5
    • 3rd Dec 11, 1:41 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Dec 11, 1:41 PM
    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?
    • olly300
    • By olly300 3rd Dec 11, 5:03 PM
    • 14,318 Posts
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    olly300
    • #6
    • 3rd Dec 11, 5:03 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Dec 11, 5:03 PM
    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?
    Originally posted by rawkinrich
    Some places don't accept printed copies of bank statements so I would always keep the paper copies.
    I'm not cynical I'm realistic

    (If a link I give opens pop ups I won't know I don't use windows)
    • meer53
    • By meer53 3rd Dec 11, 5:39 PM
    • 8,206 Posts
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    meer53
    • #7
    • 3rd Dec 11, 5:39 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Dec 11, 5:39 PM
    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.
    • Gromitt
    • By Gromitt 3rd Dec 11, 7:48 PM
    • 4,971 Posts
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    Gromitt
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 11, 7:48 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 11, 7:48 PM
    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.
  • MrBRCo
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 13, 4:42 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 13, 4:42 PM
    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.
    • lippy1923
    • By lippy1923 9th Mar 13, 7:56 PM
    • 1,000 Posts
    • 2,838 Thanks
    lippy1923
    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
    Total Mortgage OP £13,500
    House Value £240,000 Mortgage £102,583
    Emergency Fund £21,000
    • Gromitt
    • By Gromitt 9th Mar 13, 10:22 PM
    • 4,971 Posts
    • 2,378 Thanks
    Gromitt
    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?
    Originally posted by lippy1923
    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.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 9th Mar 13, 10:45 PM
    • 25,825 Posts
    • 66,310 Thanks
    Mojisola
    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.
    Originally posted by Gromitt
    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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