Long long do I have to keep these records?

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Q. I was my mom’s representative payee for her Social Security from January 2018 to April 2019. After 2018 they sent me a questionnaire about how I distributed and manage her money. They also said I have to hold on to her 2018 receipts for two years. My mom died on April 24, 2019. Do I still have to keep the paperwork?
— Cluttered

A. We’re sorry to hear about your mom.

In general, it’s best to keep important paperwork for seven years.

That’s because while the IRS typically has a three-year statute of limitations for an audit, you want to make sure you have what you need – anything that could be related to a tax return – should a question arise.

“It should not take up much space and if for some reason we need to recreate them in the future, it will be a lot of time and effort to do that,” said Jerry Lynch, a certified financial planner with JFL Total Wealth Management in Boonton. “So keep them.”

If you don’t want to have the actual paperwork on hand, simply scan the items and keep them on a thumb drive or on your computer.

And when you finally do get rid of the documents, make sure to shred them.

Email your questions to moc.p1563216087leHye1563216087noMJN1563216087@ksA1563216087.

This story was originally published on July 10, 2019.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.