What Documents Do I Need To Keep On File?

Clients are often confused as to what documents to keep surrounding key areas of their lives. Records documenting things like tax documents, records of healthcare issues, certain legal documents, documentation surrounding certain assets and liabilities as well as other types of documents should be kept in case they are needed.

In this checklist, we cover a number of documents and types of documents that your clients need to consider keeping in case they are challenged on any number of issues, including:

  • Various tax documents including several years-worth of past tax returns, as well as tax documents related to specialized transactions such as annual gifts made to children, relatives or others.
  • Healthcare records including those relating to Medicare eligibility, documentation to substantiate medical deductions on prior tax returns and documentation surrounding any contributions to and distributions from a health savings account (HSA).
  • Various legal documents for things such as proving your client’s citizenship, estate planning documents like their will, documentation surrounding their marriage or their divorce. Other types of documents, such as those proving military service and ownership of a safe deposit box should also be kept.
  • Documentation surrounding certain assets owned and debts incurred by your clients should also be kept. Some examples include documentation around investment accounts, employer-sponsored retirement accounts, business ownership information such as the company EIN and documents of incorporation, student loan and mortgage documentation, titles to the client’s automobiles and real estate among others.
  • Other types of documents such as proof of professional certifications that clients may hold as well as copies of any insurance policies they might own.

This is a comprehensive checklist of the types of documents that clients need to consider retaining copies of in case they are needed for a variety of purposes.


Updated 2020