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How Long Should I Keep a Car Receipt?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2016
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The length of time you should keep a car receipt generally depends on the reason you are keeping it. For example, if you are keeping a car receipt for tax purposes, you can usually refer to the tax agency in your jurisdiction to learn how long you have to hold onto this documentation. If you are keeping the receipt for the purpose of proving repairs and maintenance to a future car buyer, it may be best to hold onto it indefinitely. Likewise, you might need to keep your receipts indefinitely to prove proper maintenance in the event you have warranty claims. In other cases, you could choose to keep a receipt until you are sure the amount on your bank or credit card statement matches the amount on your receipt.

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If you have a car receipt that you will use or have used for tax purposes, you might benefit from checking with your jurisdiction’s tax authority to learn how long you are required to hold onto written documentation of car-related expenses. Having car receipts for your car-related deductions may prove important if you are ever audited. The length of time you are expected to keep receipt documentation may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but in many places, you are required to keep receipts for three years after filing a tax document. For example, if you file a tax return and claim car-related business expenses in 2013, you will generally have to keep the related car receipt until 2016.

Often, it’s important to keep car receipts for repairs and service for an indefinite amount of time. You may need these receipts in the event you decide to sell you car in the future. Your receipts will show a potential buyer that you have properly maintained your car and might help you to obtain the sale price you desire. Likewise, in the event that you need to file a warranty claim, you might need car receipts to prove that you have maintained the car as required.

At the very least, you'll probably want to hold onto car receipts long enough to receive your related bank or credit card statement. This way, you can compare each car receipt with the corresponding entry on your statement to make sure there are no discrepancies. If you do not need the receipt after doing so, you may choose to keep the bank or credit card statement and discard the receipt.

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