How Long Do I Need To Keep This?

Posted by Susan Veligor on January 17, 2019

When gathering tax information for 2018 tax return prep, you may want to clean house and purge some of your older files. The question often comes up as to how long one must retain their prior year tax returns. Below, are guidelines direct from the Internal Revenue Service:

  1. Keep records for 3 years if situations (4), (5), and (6) below do not apply to you.
  2. Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return.
  3. Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.
  4. Keep records for 6 years if you do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return.
  5. Keep records indefinitely if you do not file a return.
  6. Keep records indefinitely if you file a fraudulent return.
  7. Keep employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.

Additionally, you can find retention guidelines related to other documents on our website under the tab for Helpful Documents. Happy organizing!

"For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned." ~ Benjamin Franklin

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