How long do you have to keep your tax records?

Yeah! Tax season ended almost 5 weeks ago. We can breathe again, but we can’t throw away that big box of receipts and stuff just yet. From the TurboTax blog…

The tax deadline has come and gone – time to breathe a sigh of relief. But before you throw all of your tax documents up in the air to celebrate the occasion, we need to discuss just how long you should keep that info in a safe and secure place.

That’s right, you should store your tax information and documentation, including a copy of your tax return, for safe keeping – just in case you need to reference back to it. But for how long?

Three-Year Limitation

When we talk about tax documents, we’re talking about a copy of the return that you filed, along with W2s, logs for mileage, 1099s, receipts, or any paperwork that will support your tax deductions or credits that you may have claimed. This includes anything that you used to prove the state of your finances on your tax return.

As a generic rule across the board, you should keep your tax records for at least 3 years after the date in which you filed – according to the statute of limitations outlined by the IRS. For example, if you filed this year on April 15, 2015, you should keep your 2014 tax return documentation until April 15, 2018. Simple math.

This time frame was put in place to benefit both you and the IRS. You can benefit from this 3-year timetable because you have a set amount of time to claim any tax refund that is owed to you. On the flip side, the IRS has three years to levy another tax if you made a mistake while reporting your income.

But wait, there’s more. Read it here.

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