Don’t Toss Those Tax Returns! Here’s How Long to Keep Them

Introduction

Tax returns are an important part of managing your finances. Knowing how long to keep tax returns is essential for ensuring that you are in compliance with the law and that you have all the necessary information to accurately file your taxes. In this article, we will answer 20 of the most frequently asked questions about how long to keep tax returns. We will explain the implications of failing to retain your tax returns and provide tips on how to store your returns securely. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how long to keep tax returns and how to make sure you are in compliance with the law.

1. How long should I keep my tax returns?

In general, you should keep your tax returns for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is also the standard period of time used in most states. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you are self-employed, you should keep your tax returns for at least six years. Additionally, if you have made any errors or omissions on your tax return, you should keep your tax returns for at least seven years.

2. What happens if I don’t keep my tax returns?

If you do not keep your tax returns, you may be subject to penalties or fines from the IRS. Additionally, if you are audited and cannot provide your tax returns, you may be required to pay additional taxes or interest. Furthermore, if you do not have your tax returns, you may not be able to take advantage of certain deductions or credits.

3. How long should I keep my W-2 forms?

You should keep your W-2 forms for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your W-2 forms for at least six years.

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4. How long should I keep my 1099 forms?

You should keep your 1099 forms for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your 1099 forms for at least six years.

5. How long should I keep my receipts?

You should keep your receipts for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your receipts for at least six years.

6. How long should I keep my canceled checks?

You should keep your canceled checks for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your canceled checks for at least six years.

7. How long should I keep my bank statements?

You should keep your bank statements for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your bank statements for at least six years.

8. How long should I keep my investment records?

You should keep your investment records for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your investment records for at least six years.

9. How long should I keep my credit card statements?

You should keep your credit card statements for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your credit card statements for at least six years.

10. How long should I keep my tax-related correspondence?

You should keep your tax-related correspondence for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your tax-related correspondence for at least six years.

11. How long should I keep my tax-related documents?

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You should keep your tax-related documents for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your tax-related documents for at least six years.

12. How long should I keep my tax-preparation software records?

You should keep your tax-preparation software records for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your tax-preparation software records for at least six years.

13. How long should I keep my tax-preparation records?

You should keep your tax-preparation records for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your tax-preparation records for at least six years.

14. How long should I keep my records of charitable contributions?

You should keep your records of charitable contributions for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your records of charitable contributions for at least six years.

15. How long should I keep my records of medical expenses?

You should keep your records of medical expenses for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your records of medical expenses for at least six years.

16. How long should I keep my records of business expenses?

You should keep your records of business expenses for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your records of business expenses for at least six years.

17. How long should I keep my records of real estate transactions?

You should keep your records of real estate transactions for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your records of real estate transactions for at least six years.

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18. How long should I keep my records of stock transactions?

You should keep your records of stock transactions for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your records of stock transactions for at least six years.

19. How long should I keep my records of retirement account contributions?

You should keep your records of retirement account contributions for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your records of retirement account contributions for at least six years.

20. How long should I keep my records of tax-exempt interest income?

You should keep your records of tax-exempt interest income for at least three years. This is the standard recommendation from the IRS. Additionally, if you are self-employed, you should keep your records of tax-exempt interest income for at least six years.

Conclusion

Knowing how long to keep tax returns is essential for ensuring that you are in compliance with the law and that you have all the necessary information to accurately file your taxes. In general, you should keep your tax returns for at least three years. However, there are some exceptions, such as if you are self-employed, you should keep your tax returns for at least six years. Additionally, if you have made any errors or omissions on your tax return, you should keep your tax returns for at least seven years. It is important to keep your tax returns in a secure location and to make sure they are easily accessible if needed. By following the guidelines above, you can ensure that you are in compliance with the law and that you have all the necessary information to accurately file your taxes.

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Anthony Genderen

Hi there, I'm Anthony Genderen, a creative and passionate individual with a keen interest in technology, innovation, and design. With a background in computer science and a natural curiosity about how things work, I've always been drawn to the world of technology and its endless possibilities. As a lifelong learner, I love exploring new ideas and challenging myself to think outside the box. Whether it's through coding, graphic design, or other creative pursuits, I always strive to approach problems with a fresh perspective and find innovative solutions. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the great outdoors, trying new foods, and spending time with family and friends. I'm also an avid reader and love diving into books on topics ranging from science and technology to philosophy and psychology. Overall, I'm a driven, enthusiastic, and curious individual who is always eager to learn and grow.

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