Readers ask: How Long Should You Keep Your Past Tax Information?

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.

Do I need to keep old w2?

If you have employees, including household employees, keep your employment tax records for at least four years after the date that payroll taxes become due or is paid, whichever is later. This should include forms W-2 and W-4, as well as related pay information including benefit forms.

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How many years of w2 should you keep?

Six years: Forms W-2, 1099, etc. because the IRS has six years to contact you if you’ve failed to report income. Seven years: Any information regarding loss from worthless securities or bad debts.

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.

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.

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.

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 far back can the IRS audit you?

Generally, the IRS can include returns filed within the last three years in an audit. If we identify a substantial error, we may add additional years. We usually don’t go back more than the last six years. The IRS tries to audit tax returns as soon as possible after they are filed.

How many years of bank statements should you keep?

Most bank statements should be kept accessible in hard copy or electronic form for one year, after which they can be shredded. Anything tax-related such as proof of charitable donations should be kept for at least three years.

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.

How can I get my tax return from 20 years ago?

There are three ways to request a transcript:

  1. Visit the IRS website for instant online access to your transcript.
  2. Call 1-800-908-9946.
  3. Use Form 4506-T.

How do you keep your tax documents?

Use file folders or accordion folders to organize all those documents by year and sort them accordingly. Prepare for the upcoming 2014 tax season by creating additional folders to store medical bills, pay stubs, investments, donations, and any other taxable documentation that may be useful for next year.

How long should I keep medical bills?

Medical Bills How long to keep: One to three years. Keep receipts for medical expenses for one year, as your insurance company may request proof of a doctor visit or other verification of medical claims.

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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.

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.

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