How Long Should You Keep Paperwork For?

ld You Keep Paperwork For Main Article Image

Starting to consider a tidy in the office or at home ready for spring? Here’s our guide on how long you should keep paperwork for.

For many, the idea of preparing to clear up and tidy away old and current paperwork is something to dread. But for greater control of your financial and personal matters, knowing what paperwork you need to keep around and what you can safely dispose of can make things a lot easier when it’s time for a spring clean.

Paperwork to Keep Forever

There are no unusual paperwork types here that you should ensure to keep forever. Important documents such as Marriage Certificates, Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, House Deeds and Wills are all essential to keep stored away securely.

It can get expensive to attempt to replace these in case of loss or damage, so keep them safe in a lockable unit such as a Security Safe or in a Deed and Document Box.

Paperwork that also falls under this category is your current Vehicle Logbook (V5C), which you should supply with your car should you decide to sell it.

You should also keep a tight grip on Life Insurance Documents and make sure any potential beneficiaries know where these will be stored in the occasion they need to access them.

Additionally, Pension Documentation, Medical Records, your National Insurance Number and Pet Papers such as Pet Passports are all essential to keep forever, so make sure you don’t accidently dispose of them.

Paperwork to Keep During Their Lifetime

In terms of Paperwork you should keep around until their lifetime expires, this includes other paper documents such as your Passport, Rental/Purchase Agreements and Extended Warranties for any high-value items you own.

For Paperwork relating to vehicle ownership, there are a few key documents that you should make sure to keep ahold of through their limited lifetime. These are papers and official copies relating to Car Insurance, Proof of Road Tax and Vehicle MOT Results.

Again, it’s advisable to keep these away from anywhere in the workplace or home that could leave them at risk of damage or wear and tear. A good idea is to keep scanned digital copies on a Memory Device, so that it can be printed off if required.

Something that you can dispose of however, is the Paper Counterpart to your Driving Licence. This hasn’t had any legal status since June 2015 and should be responsibly destroyed if you have a Photocard Driving Licence.

For sensitive documents like these that will need destroying after a limited amount of time, it’s best to use a Shredding Machine which will destroy any personal data contained on papers safely and securely.

Paperwork to Keep for 1 to 2 Years

Lastly, for future referencing purposes, there are some types of paperwork that should keep for 1 to 2 years before disposing of.

For the period of two years, you should make sure to keep around important tax records. This includes your most recent P60, any Coding Notices from the HMRC and any Proof of Interest papers that detail amounts paid on bank accounts. After two years, these can be destroyed and disposed of.

Payslips and Proof of Payment Notices from your workplace, will only need to be kept around up until your P60 Documentation arrives in the post.

Likewise, most of your Utility Bills such as Gas, Electric and Water only need to be kept for the maximum of a year. This is to safeguard against any potential problems you may have whilst using these services.

It also provides you with a financial advantage if you decide to compare prices between other energy companies when it’s time to renew your current deal.

In the present day, documentation to prove you own a legitimate TV Licence isn’t usually required and can also be put into disposal. If you pay this by direct debit, you can renew or update your subscription online instead.

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Sam Rose

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