FAQ: How Long Should I Keep My Paper Tax Returns?

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. Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.

How long should you keep your tax records in case of an audit?

The IRS recommends keeping returns and other tax documents for three years (or two years from when you paid the tax, whichever is later.) The IRS has a statute of limitations on conducting audits and it is limited to three years.

How many years of income tax records should I keep?

How long to keep your records. Generally, you must keep all required records and supporting documents for a period of six years from the end of the last tax year they relate to.

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What papers should I keep and for how long?

To be on the safe side, McBride says to keep all tax records for at least seven years. Keep forever. Records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, and military discharge papers should be kept indefinitely.

What papers to save and what to throw away?

What Documents Can I Throw Away—and When?

  • Tax Returns. Old tax documents are probably the number one category of documents we’re asked about.
  • Bank Statements.
  • Explanation of Benefits (EOB) Forms.
  • Medical Bills.
  • Utility Bills.
  • Paycheck Stubs.
  • Credit Card Statements.
  • Wills and Estate Planning Documents.

When can I throw out old tax returns?

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. Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.

How long should you keep paperwork?

Knowing that, a good rule of thumb is to save any document that verifies information on your tax return—including Forms W–2 and 1099, bank and brokerage statements, tuition payments and charitable donation receipts—for three to seven years.

Should you shred old tax returns?

With that timeframe, California residents should keep their state tax records for at least four years. What Should I Do with My Old Tax Returns? Once you have scanned your tax documents, make sure to dispose of them in a secure manner. At the very least, shred them before throwing them in the trash.

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How do you get rid of old tax returns?

The key to securely disposing of tax records is to use a quality shredding service that will properly shred statements, tax return documents, and dispose of receipts using the most thorough and complete shredding methods available. When it comes to shredding old tax returns, you can never be too careful.

Can the IRS go back more than 10 years?

As a general rule, there is a ten year statute of limitations on IRS collections. This means that the IRS can attempt to collect your unpaid taxes for up to ten years from the date they were assessed. Subject to some important exceptions, once the ten years are up, the IRS has to stop its collection efforts.

What important papers should I keep?

Important papers to save forever include:

  • Birth certificates.
  • Social Security cards.
  • Marriage certificates.
  • Adoption papers.
  • Death certificates.
  • Passports.
  • Wills and living wills.
  • Powers of attorney.

How long should I keep credit card statements?

Credit Card Statements: Keep them for 60 days unless they include tax-related expenses. In these cases, keep them for at least three years. Pay Stubs: Match them to your W-2 once a year and then shred them. Utility Bills: Hold on to them for a maximum of one year.

How long should you keep monthly statements and bills?

Hold the returns and supporting documents for at least seven years. The IRS can randomly audit you three years after you file — or six years afterward if it thinks you skipped out on reporting your income by at least 25%.

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What documents should you never throw away?

NEVER Throw Away These Documents

  • Birth/death certificate.
  • Marriage license.
  • Social security card.
  • Military discharge papers.
  • Divorce decree.
  • Passport(s)
  • Property deeds.
  • Titles to vehicle(s), boat(s), etc.

How can I get rid of old bank statements without a shredder?

How to Dispose of Documents Without a Shredder

  1. 1 – Shred Them by Hand.
  2. 2 – Burn Them.
  3. 3 – Add Them to Your Compost.
  4. 4 – Use Multi-Cut Scissors.
  5. 5 – Soak Them in Water.
  6. 6 – Wait for a Local Shred Day.
  7. 7 – Use a Local Paper Shredding Service.

Is it safe to throw away old bank statements?

All they need is access to your old mail, credit cards, and debit cards. ” Bank statements, credit card statements and other documents that contain your personal information should never be disposed of in an insecure manner,” says Debbie Guild, chief security officer at PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

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