Financial Planning for Generation X & Y Women
 
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Expert Q&A Archive

02/18/2008
How long should you keep your tax records?
What are the guidelines for how long to keep your tax records?
Gail Rosen, CPA:
expert info »
Basically keep tax records 6 years after you file, except for records applying to a house you still own or any stock/investment you still own.
Rosemary Ervin, CPA:
expert info »
Discard old tax returns that are more than seven years old. Be sure to shred anything that has your Social Security number on it.
Jeff Kyle:
expert info »
If the IRS audits you, you may be required to provide documentation for the past 7 years. I only keep mine for 7 years. Each year, as I add the newest bundle of papers & receipts, I shred all the papers from 8 years back.
Michael A. Masiello:
expert info »
General rule of thumb, 7 years for tax returns. One method I have seen used successfully is to put each tax year into a large envelope and then rotate/destroy in sequence. Every 7th year gets destroyed when you put the new one in the box.
Jody Rorick, CPA:
expert info »

The IRS says three years from the filing date, so for tax year 2007, the statute of limitations for that return runs out 4/15/2011, unless there is fraud, in which case, the statute of limitations never runs out.

[Editor’s Note: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 552—“Recordkeeping for Individuals”—contains a section on “How Long To Keep Records,” which contains a table on “Period of Limitations.” The table contains information on how long to keep records for various purposes. IRS Publication 552 can be found at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p552.pdf. Readers may also want to refer to IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2007-05—“Keeping Good Tax Records”.]

 

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