How Long Does the IRS Keep Your Tax Records?

The IRS keeps tax records between three and seven years, depending on the type of tax record. Most individual tax forms, such as Form 1040, are kept on file for six years.

The IRS recommends that taxpayers keep records and individual returns for three years. This is the statute of limitations for most individual tax returns; after this period neither the taxpayer nor the IRS may amend the return.

The statute of limitations is doubled to six years if a taxpayer does not report all taxable income. It is unlimited for tax returns judged to be fraudulent and for taxpayers who do not file returns. The IRS recommends that taxpayers in these two groups keep permanent records for the tax years in question.