How Long To Hold On To Pay Stubs And Why Should You

some money on top of an earnings statement

It's a common situation: you have a stack of paystubs sitting in your closet, shelf, or desk drawer and you're not sure what to do with them. Once the check clears, are you safe to throw them out? Some people feel hesitant to trash these valuable sources of information.
There's a genuine rationale behind that fear. Getting reprints of financial documents can be a huge pain and time-consuming to boot. So how long should you hold onto pay stubs before getting rid of them? Read on and we'll walk you through what you need to know.

How Long Should You Hold On To Pay Stubs?

When you get paperwork as often as you do paystubs, they can quickly begin to take up space. Even if you're an organized person, it can begin to feel like there are far too many paystubs filling up your bedroom, office, or other storage space. You should, however, resist the urge to trash these little slips of paper for at least a year.
There's no need to keep a pay stub for the rest of your working life, but holding onto them for a year can provide several benefits.

They Can Help When Filing Taxes

One of the main reasons pay stubs might be worth holding onto for about a year? It means you'll still have them when it comes time to submit to the IRS. You don't technically need these stubs to do your taxes, but having something to reference can be helpful.
If there are any discrepancies with your W2 or if your account asks for your stubs, you'll be happy that you had them at the ready.

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They Provide Proof Of Income

If you're thinking of making a large purchase in the future, like purchasing a car, you might need your paystubs nearby. When making a big purchase, buying a home, or taking out a personal loan, you'll need to provide proof of income to the other party.
Your pay stubs are the easiest and clearest way to provide this. You could always ask your employer to reprint or resend your pay stubs, but this can be a lengthy process. If you're waiting on something time-sensitive, missing your pay stubs might be enough to lose out on a great opportunity.

Properly Disposing Of Pay Stubs

Once a year has gone by, you're probably safe getting rid of your pay stubs. But when you do move to the trash, make sure you get rid of them properly. These pay stubs contain sensitive personal information and you don't want them getting into the wrong hands.
Use a personal shredder to properly shred your stubs and protect your personal information. The last thing you want to do is put something that important in the trash in one piece.

The Importance Of Pay Stubs

There are many reasons to hold onto pay stubs long after you first receive them. You never know what situation you might run into when you need them. ​​​Lost your paystub and need help proving your income? Check out our pay stub generator today!

Create a pay stub hassle free in under 10 minutes.

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