How Long Should I Keep My Tax Records?

While the IRS will not tell a taxpayer how long they need to keep their tax records, it’s prudent to keep them anyway.  But just what should you keep and for how long? As a general rule of thumb, if you “attempted’ to file your return correctly, then you will want to keep everything for 3 years.  However, take a look at the two tables shown below for further details and items only applicable to certain situations.

Supporting Tax Documentation To Keep

Item Supporting Record
Income Form(s) W-2
Form(s) 1099 (INT, DIV, Etc.)
Bank statements
Form(s) K-1
Expenses Canceled checks or other proof of payment
Invoices
Receipts
Home Closing statements/HUD-1
Purchase and sales invoices
Proof of payment
Insurance records
Investments Brokerage statements
Mutual fund statements
Form(s) 1099
Form(s) 2439

 

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Length Of Time One Should Keep Their Tax Documentation

Situation Retention Period
Owed tax and the subsequent three situations do not apply to you 3 years
Did not report income that is more than 25% of the gross income shown on the return you filed 6 years