How long to keep tax records?
How long to keep tax records for is a
very frequently asked question. Taxpayers don't want to
get into trouble with the IRS and be unprepared in an IRS audit
so knowing how long to keep tax records for is important as
well as knowing what tax records to keep or what supporting
evidence to keep. See also, How long do you
have to keep IRS records?
Statute of limitations dictates how long to
keep tax records for
Because of the statute of limitation, you
don't have to keep your tax records indefinitely. There are
other records, however, that you may want to keep for longer
than required by the statute of limitations.
3 year rule to keep tax records
In general, the IRS has three years from the
date of your tax return to audit your tax return. That means
you should keep your tax records for at least three years from
the date you filed your tax return. If you filed your tax
return early, your filing date is assumed to be the due date of
your tax return which is April 15 for most people. If you file
late, the due date is the date of your late tax return when
received by the IRS.
6 year rule to keep tax records
If you under report income of more than 25%
of your gross income reported on your tax return, then the IRS
has 6 years to audit your tax return. In this case, you would
have to keep your tax records for 6 years.
Keep your tax records forever
If you did not file your tax return, though,
the IRS can audit you any time. There is no statute of
limitations working in your favor when you don't file your tax