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I have some paper pay stubs from 2004 to 2009 and I am not sure if I need to keep them or shred them.

Do we need to save pay stubs at all? If so, how many years pay stubs do we need to?

Thank you,

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Assuming you are a w2'ed employee, keep the first and last you get from a job for posterity, shred the rest after checking for accuracy.

Keep first/last forever so you can prove employment years from now if old company goes under and new company does a background check.

I keep my previous 2 and then just discard the old ones.

Not previous 2 years, previous 2 stubs... am I doing it wrong?

Most employers have online access to paystubs. Save them all as PDF's and no need to keep any paper ones.

I just keep my most recent paystub.

Yeah I just scan them all and shred!

If in doubt keep them.

I keep the most recent two months (for credit underwriting purposes) for all jobs. Then the first and last for all jobs. Also, I keep the last pay stub for the year until I confirm that the information matches the W-2.

With this system, you should be able to demonstrate income to either the IRS or a credit underwriter at all times.

I don't keep any, if I needed them for credit or whatever I'd just ask my employoer to reproduce them. I can't imagine keeping a box of 5 years worth of paystubs!

The stubs can be useful if you're underpaying tax and need to choose between having the withdrawl averaged over the year vs when it was actually withheld. Not so relevant if you get a refund of make the same amount over the whole year.

Thank you everyone for the input.

i print the end of year paycheck stub (its an online pdf file) and put that in the folder with my other tax documents. it summarizes all the deductions for the year for benefits, etc... in case I am wondering what did I do with that money.

If in doubt keep them. Damn... I am in doubt for the past 12 years and nothing has changed except the paystubs are piling up in boxes LMAO !

Keep end-of-year stubs if you pay union dues. I have not seen union dues listed on the W-2.

kiasuchick said:   Yeah I just scan them all and shred!

Second that. You never know if you'll need them later and storage space is very cheap for scanned PDFs of those pay stubs.

I've read that it's recommended to keep them forever for social security reasons although that seems excessive since SS sends you a statement every year that you can compare to your pay stubs anyway. Also, outside of maybe the last two years of paystubs, why would you really need to keep more than the first and last paystubs of each year to prove continued employment? I don't know but in doubt, scan them all.

SS stopped sending statements at least a year or two ago to save money. I did have to submit a correction though only a W-2 was needed. Offhand I think there's a limited timeframe to make corrections, possibly 5 years.

Shandril said:   kiasuchick said:   Yeah I just scan them all and shred!

Second that. You never know if you'll need them later and storage space is very cheap for scanned PDFs of those pay stubs.

I've read that it's recommended to keep them forever for social security reasons although that seems excessive since SS sends you a statement every year that you can compare to your pay stubs anyway. Also, outside of maybe the last two years of paystubs, why would you really need to keep more than the first and last paystubs of each year to prove continued employment? I don't know but in doubt, scan them all.


ScanSnap s1500 is the best personal document scanner in my opinion. Costs about $400, but it's been life changing for my paperwork and organization. Got one for the parents too.



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