How long should you keep tax records?


Quick Answer

According to the Internal Revenue Service, how long people should keep their tax records depends on the type and purpose of the documentation, but IRS and Forbes magazine guidelines say that keeping records three to six years from the filing date or due date, whichever is later, covers many eventualities. The IRS recommends keeping tax records at least until the statue of limitations related to a certain record expires.

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How long should you keep tax records?
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Full Answer

However, even if the IRS statue of limitations has run out, the IRS points out that people may need tax records for other purposes, such as for creditors or insurance companies. Consumers should check on these first before discarding records.

According to Forbes, taxpayers who are claiming depreciation should keep records such as deeds and titles until they no longer own the property. The IRS says that people who file returns that are obviously fraudulent or who do not file at all should keep their records forever because the statue of limitations on such actions never expires. If taxpayers neglect to report all of their income, they should also keep related records for at least six years. The IRS says to store employment tax documentation for at least four years from when the tax was due or was paid, whichever falls later.

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