How Long Should You Keep Tax Documents According to the IRS

It is almost 2017 and with the New Year comes another tax season. According to the Internal Revenue Service recommendations, certain tax documents should be kept for several years or more. Generally, the IRS suggests keeping copies of tax returns and supporting documents for at least 3 years. In the case of a taxpayer who needs to file an amended return or if questions arise, they recommend keeping the documents up to 7. Records relating to real estate should be kept for 7 years after disposing of the property.

The IRS also recommends that Health care information statements should be kept along with other tax records. Other records to keep include any employer-provided coverage, premiums paid, advance payments of the premium tax credit received, and type of coverage. These types of records should be kept at least 3 years after you file.

Whether you keep your records on paper or electronically, keep them safe and secure, especially any documents bearing your Social Security numbers. Having a backup flash drive containing your records, that is encrypted, is another good way to keep the files secure. When tax records become unneeded, make sure to destroy the data to prevent identity theft.