After you file your taxes, each year, you know you should hang on to your return, in case of an audit. But, after a few years, those tax files start piling up. That’s when you start to wonder, just how long should you hold on to your tax records?
The minimum amount of time you need to keep your tax records is three years. This is from the date that the return is due or was filed, whichever is later. For example, if you filed your taxes in 2012 on April 17, you need to keep those records at least until April 17, 2015.
However, there are other circumstances that might mean you need to keep your tax records longer. If you don’t report all of your income, file a fraudulent return, or don’t file your taxes at all, you need to keep your records for anywhere from six years to forever, depending on the circumstance. And, if you have equipment or property that is depreciated or amortized, you need to keep your records at least as long as you have the item or property.
There are other exceptions to the three year rule. In fact, the tax code is so complex that you will probably want to hire a professional tax attorney to help you with your tax planning and filing. We offer a full range of accounting and tax planning services, in addition to tax resolution and relief services. If you need tax help with the IRS, you can count on us to represent you and work to get the best possible resolution.