Tax Questions Blog
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 returns.
Tax Questions is a resource and information website only. We do not offer individual advice. For specific tax questions and answers, you are advised to consult your tax attorney.