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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceTaxesUnited States · 1 year ago

How long do you keep tax returns?

Update:

I read several sources that say keep tax returns and records for at least three years. (IRS publication)

I have also heard seven years. Thank You.

13 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 year ago
    Favourite answer

    Keep W-2s forever.

    For simple returns (just a w-2), 3 years.

    For complex returns, 6 years.

    However that's from when you filed, so round up to 4 years and 7 years.

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  • 1 year ago

    They advise 7 yrs !

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  • zipper
    Lv 6
    1 year ago

    At lease 7 years, IRS can go back that far.

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  • Erik
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Forever. There's no reason to get rid of them, and they don't take up a lot of space.

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  • 1 year ago

    I have scanned copies going back over a decade on my computer

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  • 1 year ago

    Back when I was doing paper copies I kept them for 10 years. Now that I do everything electronically and my copies are just PDF files on a hard drive, I keep them all.

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  • 1 year ago

    I have all of mine, going back to the 1970s.

    • NA
      Lv 7
      1 year agoReport

      Me too. I also have my dad's back to 1950.

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  • Nancy
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    I keep mine forever. It's not like they take up a bunch of space, like I'm never all, "Oooh, I really need that extra two inches in my file cabinet."

    Why do I keep them forever? Because they are a clear and concise record of my financial history and even my life. Because I never know when I might need some account number or address or whatever from them.

    The federal government only requires you keep them for three years from the date you filed or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. That is unless you claim a loss for worthless securities or bad debt reduction, in which case you must keep records for seven years.

    Those are all minimums, though. Nothing says you can't keep records longer. I'd say most err on the side of caution and keep at least seven years.

    But for me, I have no pressing need to throw those records away. A tax return is one to two inches thick. So I find it absurd how people are all about when they can throw them away when they've already got to keep a drawer or box with several years of returns in it.

    I mean, seriously, people keep so much crap, years and years and years of crap, papers especially. But then everyone's all johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to throwing away a tax return that's only slightly larger than a sheet of paper and an inch or so thick.

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  • 1 year ago

    I believe that a minimum of three years is recommended but I always keep mine for seven. after that, it's to the shredder!

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  • WB
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Three years is required by law, although they recommend to retain your records for 7 years.

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  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    Call them

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