How Long Do I Need to Keep My Tax Records?

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Do you know how long you have to keep your tax records?

Have you ever wondered if you should be keeping your tax records for an indefinite amount of time? It can be pretty overwhelming to keep on having stacks and stacks of papers in your home after you have filed your tax return, so no matter if you have been keeping them for the last decade or for as long as you have been paying taxes, you definitely have quite a lot of them.

Yet, while some recommend you keep them for only a set period of time, that period is not the same for everyone. You may have heard of relatives that only keep them for a year and others who only keep them for three. The most often heard numbers besides those two are four, six, seven, and, well, forever. These are all different cases, and while some may apply to you, others are not really needed.

Join us as we present to you the complicated world of tax records and which ones you should be keeping and for how long. Some exceptions that may be applicable when they do apply are harder to get, so we will be explaining those as well!

Let us know if we have helped you in your record-keeping journey and if you have any tips in the comments down below!

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16 Responses

  1. I print out of my Taxes as filed. I typically use TurboTax and while they are saved in a TurboTax format, they should also be saved as a pdf which make them much easier to read/refer to. Each version of Turbotax seems to be unique, so it you wanted to read your taxes from 5 years ago, you would need to have that year version of TT installed making a pdf easier to review. Then I put the software used to do my taxes with a CD of my taxes return in the manilla envelope, mark the year on the outside and put the envelope in the box. I can usually get at least 2 envelope’s in each box. I also write the years of the taxes inside on the box with a magic marker.

    1. I do my taxes with turbo, But I thought they save them for you in case you need them ! How do you get software so you can print and put on a cd ?

      Thank you for the info👍

  2. After 10 years of keeping old tax records, I throw out the old records, and keep the new ones for ten years.

    1. Be sure to shred the old records & not just throw them out, as they contain your Social Security numbers & other info that thieves would love to have — but you probably know that anyways.

    1. Where is the information you loved? I am unable to find any specific information about what to keep and for how long.

  3. Actually not enough information here to know what to keep and how long? What are the details to know how long one should keep tax returns and which ones?

  4. You did not leave a more definite timeline? You just said what some people do. that was NO HELP.

  5. we were told 4 years..anything before that shredd them…we saved all of them took us days to shredd them all except the last 4 years everything else got shredded..

  6. Working for CPA firms for decades, it was the Company’s policy to store client’s tax returns and backup paperwork (on site) for 7 years unless you’ve been audited by either the Feds or the State. If audited, we stored their returns and back up paperwork (on site) forever

  7. Hello. I have heard numerous different words on this very topic. As a rule of thumb,

    may I suggest Seven years. However may I suggest that you ask a lawyer to be sure.

    Your circumstance may vary. A good piece of advise always check it out. You see, to

    be truthful, it’s better to be safe and free. Don’t you agree???

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