How Long Should One Keep Personal Bank Statements?

Since the Internal Revenue Service has three years to audit individuals, most financial advisers suggest keeping personal bank statements for at least three years. This will ensure that if you are audited, you have all the information you need.

At a Minimum

Since the Internal Revenue Service has three years to audit individuals, most financial advisers suggest keeping personal bank statements for at least three years. This will ensure that if you are audited, you have all the information you need.

Online Banking Makes It Easy

Given the threat of identity theft and personal records falling into the wrong hands, keeping paper copies of sensitive material can be dangerous. One solution is to use your bank's online banking system. Most banks now make statements available electronically. This feature allows you to safely keep all your bank statements archived online for three years or beyond.

Bottom Line

Whether you bank online or keep your records in a paper file, all financial records should be saved for at least three years until the threat of an IRS audit has passed.

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About the Author

Jake Damon has his Ph.D. in English from Texas Tech University. Damon has been a writer and editor since 1998. He edits two professional journals, has published books including "Catullan Consciousness" and "Re-Reading Thomas Traherne," and written articles for various academic and trade presses, including Oxford University Press, Associated University Presses and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University.

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