How Long Do I Need To Save My Tax Paperwork And Prior Tax Returns?
To cover all of your bases, keep your tax records for 7 years. The minimum requirement is 3 years for most taxpayers, although several exceptions to that rule exist.
Period of Limitations that apply to income tax returns – from IRS.gov
- Keep records for 3 years if situations (4), (5), and (6) below do not apply to you.
- 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.
- Keep records for 6 years if you do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return.
- Keep records indefinitely if you do not file a return.
- Keep records indefinitely if you file a fraudulent return.
- Keep employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.
By keeping your information for the maximum recommended term of 7 years, you help assure that you are covered under any circumstance. The paperwork should not take up that much room to matter. If it does take up a lot of room, you are more likely to have a situation that requires you saving the documents for the longer 7 year period anyway.