How Long to Keep Financial Records

by Teryn on July 19, 2016


As a general rule, keep in mind the following:

Taxes; Returns; Cancelled checks/receipts (alimony, charitable contributions, mortgage interest and retirement plan contributions); Records for tax deductions taken: Seven Years

  • The IRS has three years from your filing date to audit your return if it suspects good-faith errors.
  • The three-year deadline also applies if you discover a mistake in your return and decide to file an amended return to claim a refund.
  • The IRS has six years to challenge your return if it thinks you under reported your gross income by 25% or more.
  • There is no time limit if you failed to file your return or filed a fraudulent return.

IRA contribution records: Permanently

If you made a nondeductible contribution to an IRA, keep the record indefinitely to prove that you already paid tax on this money when the time comes to withdraw.

Retirement/savings plan statements: From one year to permanently

  • Keep the quarterly statements form your 401(k) or other plans until you receive the annual summary; if everything matches up, then shred the quarterlies.
  • Keep the annual summaries until you retire or close the account.

Bank Records: From one year to permanently

  • Go through your checks each year and keep those related to your taxes, business expenses, home improvements and mortgage payments.
  • Shred those that have no long-term importance.

Brokerage Statements: Until you sell the securities

You need the purchase or sales slips from your brokerage or mutual fund to prove whether you have capital gains or losses at tax time.

Bills: From one year to permanently

  • Go through your bills once a year.
  • In most cases, when the canceled check from a paid bill has been returned, you can shred the bill.
  • However, bills for big purchases – such as jewelry, rugs, appliances, antiques, cars, collectibles, furniture, computers, etc. – should be kept in an insurance file for proof of their value in the event of loss or damage.

Credit card receipts and statements: From 45 days to seven years

  • Keep your original receipts until you get your monthly statements; shred the receipts if the two match up.
  • Keep the statements for seven years if tax-related expenses are documents.

Paycheck stubs: One year

  • When you received your annual W-2 form for your employer, make sure the information on your stubs matches.
  • If it does, shred the stubs.
  • If it doesn’t, demanded a correct form, known as a W-2c.

House/condominium records: From six years to permanently

  • Keep all records documenting the purchase price and the cost of all permanent improvements – such as remodeling, additions and installations.
  • Keep records of expenses incurred in selling and buying the property, such as legal fees and your real estate agent’s commission, for six years after you sell your home.
  • Holding on to these records is important because any improvements you make on your house, as well as expenses in selling it, are added to the original purchase price or cost basis. This adds up to a great profit (also known as capital gains) when you sell your house. Therefore, you lower your capital gains tax.

Need a tax advisor recommendation for helping you with your tax matters? Give me a call. I am your go-to gal for who-to-go-to!

Meanwhile, if you, or someone you know is thinking of moving, please give me a call. I help buyers and sellers get to where they want to go, on time and with peace of mind.

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Ventura County Open Houses

by Teryn on June 12, 2016


meters by dillon

Here are instructions on how to get the list of open houses!

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the left side of the screen [Open Houses]
  3. Enter the desired [To] and [From] dates
  4. Type the desired [City] name. (Click on the icon, type a few characters, click [Search], check the desired box, click [OK].)
  5. In the upper right of the screen, click [Search].
  6. You can print the document or ‘print’ as a .pdf file and email it to yourself.

The Ventura County MLS database is merged with other databases that do not have the same fields as we do, so the more ‘vague’ you can make your criteria, the better so as not to miss any properties.

Please let me know if you have questions on any of the above steps and/or on any properties.  Most likely I have already seen the property(ies) you have questions about.

Happy hunting and let’s find your dream home!


(Photo courtesy of Dillon Scheps)

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CAR Fast Facts for March 2015

May 17, 2016

California Median Home Price $483,280 Highest median home price by region/county: San Francisco, $1,360,580 Lowest median home price by region/county: Merced, $189,500 California Pending Home Sales Index: Statewide pending home sales fell in March on an annual basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) decreasing 1.7 percent from 138 in March 2015 to 135.6 […]

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April 13, 2016

AVAILABLE MID-MAY! Three spacious bedrooms, 2 luxurious bathrooms, sparkling hot tub, fantastic school district, delightful backyard, entertainer’s dream, minutes to the beach. $2850. No pets. Lease. Call me for details and photos! Photo courtesy of Shanon Searls, photographer extraordinaire

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Top 5 Things to Do in Ventura

August 27, 2015

There are SO many incredible things to do in Ventura. Here’s a short list for a fun weekend. 1. Browse downtown shops. There is a big free parking structure on the corner of Santa Clara Street and California Avenue, as well as behind the Bank of America building on Main Street and California Avenue (up […]

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3 Tips to Reviving Your Kitchen

May 19, 2015

Are you ready for a kitchen upgrade but lacking an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of budget? Plenty of low-cost improvements can revive a kitchen without the need to rip out cabinets and rewire appliances. Consider these tips from This Old House and HGTV. Color Splash: With a new coat of paint and some other accents, you might […]

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Buying Your House Using the Listing Agent as your Agent

March 25, 2015

by Teryn Bonime There are buyers who believe that they will get a better deal if they have the agent who represents the seller write their purchase offer. Here is one financial reason why this may not be true. There are many terms agreed upon when a Seller and a Listing Agent execute a Listing […]

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Finding a Place to Rent in the Ventura Area

February 25, 2015

by Teryn Bonime Because I work with so many investors and need to know the rental market, I keep an eye on the rental prices and inventory in the local areas. It’s never been easy finding a rental in this area but here is a very general article that may shed some light. In my […]

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The Value of Using a Real Estate Agent

February 24, 2015

  by Teryn Bonime In a previous career, I trained HUNDREDS of people, across the US and Europe. In real estate, I have also had the privilege of working with hundreds of people to help them buy, sell and hold real estate. Like you, I like working with clients that I would enjoy inviting to my dinner table! Real estate isn’t like […]

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Looking for An Experienced Real Estate Agent

January 22, 2015

Here is a question I am often asked: How many homes have you bought and sold? In my career as a realtor, I have helped clients buy and sell hundreds of homes. As part of wealth building, I’ve also counseled clients on holding onto their property. Plus, over the course of many, many years my […]

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