Financial Planning for Generation X & Y Women
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Expert Q&A Archive

How long should you keep utilities receipts?
I have my phone bills, electric, and heating receipts that I've kept. How long should you keep them?
Gail Rosen, CPA:
expert info »
Unless you have investment property that you are deducting your phone or utility bills for, then you do not have to keep those records for tax reasons.
Rosemary Ervin, CPA:
expert info »
Unless you are using the property for rental, then I assume it is a personal residence. All utility and phone bills are only required until you make certain that you are credited with your payments and your account is in good standing with the vendor.

You should always keep major purchase receipts---appliances, vehicles, etc. When you sell your residence, you will need to list all of the improvements you made to the dwelling since inception [since you bought it]. So keep a folder titled "whatever the address is". Each year put into the folder receipts from improvements you made that year.

If you are using the dwelling as a rental property, keep all of the records for seven years. Keep records of major improvements purchases [costs] until you sell the property.
Jeff Kyle:
expert info »

If you have a home office & are itemizing percentages of those expenses [the expenses related to your home office], keep them with the appropriate year's tax info...but only for 7 years.

[Editorís Note: For information related to business use of your home, see Internal Revenue Service Publication 587 at]

Michael A. Masiello:
expert info »
Assuming that you are not deducting the utility bills etc., I don't think you need to keep more than a few years.
Jody Rorick, CPA:
expert info »
If you have a home office and you're deducting utilities, you need to keep the stubs as proof, as long as you keep your tax returns. Otherwise, keep them no longer than a year, or even less, unless you are in a controversy about your bills.