For tax purposes, the length of time that records should be kept varies depending on the action, expense or event the document records according to the IRS, with three years being the minimum time. Insurance companies and creditors may require individuals to keep records for longer than the IRS.
If an individual does not file a tax return or files a fraudulent return, records should be kept indefinitely according to the IRS. Records should be kept for seven years if a taxpayer files a claim for a loss from worthless securities or takes a bad debt deduction. Employment tax records should be kept for four years after the date the tax is due or is paid, whichever is later.