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How Long Should I Keep Income Tax Records?

Know what to hold on to after your form is sent in.

You must keep records so that you can prepare a complete and accurate income tax return. The law does not require any special form of records. However, you should keep all receipts, canceled checks, and other evidence to prove amounts you claim as deductions, exclusions, or credits. Records should be retained for as long as they are important for any income tax law.

In general, you should keep records that support an item of income or a deduction appearing on a return until the statute of limitations (the period during which the IRS can audit your return) runs out. Usually this is three years after the date a return was filed (or three years after the due date of the return, if later). However, in some cases it is wise to keep records for a longer period of time, since a six-year limitations period applies in some situations, and in others (e.g., no return was filed or a return was fraudulent) ...

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Posted:
  • April 14, 2016

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