How Long Should I Keep US Tax Records?

Should I shred old utility bills?

Most experts suggest that you can shred many other documents sooner than seven years.

After paying credit card or utility bills, shred them immediately.

After one year, shred bank statements, pay stubs, and medical bills (unless you have an unresolved insurance dispute)..

How can I see old tax returns?

Tax TranscriptsOrder online. Use the ‘Get Transcript ‘ tool available on IRS.gov. There is a link to it under the red TOOLS bar on the front page. … Order by phone. The number to call is 800-908-9946.Order by mail. Complete and send either Form 4506-T or Form 4506T-EZ to the IRS to get one by mail.

What should I do with old tax returns?

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.

How far back can IRS go?

six yearsGenerally, the IRS can include returns filed within the last three years in an audit. If we identify a substantial error, we may add additional years. We usually don’t go back more than the last six years. The IRS tries to audit tax returns as soon as possible after they are filed.

Is it OK to throw away old bank statements?

You should probably keep hold of credit card and bank statements for a year but you can throw away other household paperwork like utility bills.

Should I keep old medical records?

If that’s the case, keep these records for three years. Medical bills: You’ll likely receive physical copies of these bills in the mail. … Keep the physical copies, and make duplicates if you need them. File these away for one year.

How long should you keep bills before shredding?

Utility bills: How long should you keep bills before shredding? If you’re claiming a home office deduction, you should keep utility bills for three years. Otherwise, keep them for one year, then shred them.

Is there any reason to keep old tax returns?

You probably learned that you should keep a tax return for at least three years after filing it. The reason for the three-year answer is that the IRS has up to three years to audit you and assess additional taxes. … The IRS can go back six years when more than 25% of income was omitted from the tax return.

Can the IRS go back more than 10 years?

As a general rule, there is a ten year statute of limitations on IRS collections. This means that the IRS can attempt to collect your unpaid taxes for up to ten years from the date they were assessed. Subject to some important exceptions, once the ten years are up, the IRS has to stop its collection efforts.

What records need to be kept for 7 years?

Accounting Services Records should be retained for a minimum of seven years. Accountants, being a conservative bunch, will often recommend that you keep financial statements, check registers, profit and loss statements, budgets, general ledgers, cash books and audit reports permanently.

Should I keep old w2s?

If you have employees, including household employees, keep your employment tax records for at least four years after the date that payroll taxes become due or is paid, whichever is later. This should include forms W-2 and W-4, as well as related pay information including benefit forms.

How many years of bills should you keep?

A good rule of thumb is to keep any bills that you may want to review at a later date for 12 – 24 months.

How long do you have to keep business records for tax purposes?

five yearsYou must keep all your business records for five years, including tax invoices, receipts, salary and wages records, tax returns and activity statements, and super contributions for your employees.

What triggers an IRS audit?

You Claimed a Lot of Itemized Deductions The IRS expects that taxpayers will live within their means. … It can trigger an audit if you’re spending and claiming tax deductions for a significant portion of your income. This trigger typically comes into play when taxpayers ​itemize.

What papers to save and what to throw away?

When to Keep and When to Throw Away Financial DocumentsReceipts. Receipts for anything you might itemize on your tax return should be kept for three years with your tax records.Home Improvement Records. … Medical Bills. … Paycheck Stubs. … Utility Bills. … Credit Card Statements. … Investment and Real Estate Records. … Bank Statements.More items…•

What records should I keep and for how long?

To be on the safe side, McBride says to keep all tax records for at least seven years. Keep forever. Records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, and military discharge papers should be kept indefinitely.

How do you get rid of old tax returns?

The key to securely disposing of tax records is to use a quality shredding service that will properly shred statements, tax return documents, and dispose of receipts using the most thorough and complete shredding methods available. When it comes to shredding old tax returns, you can never be too careful.

How far back will IRS pay refunds?

three yearsThe law gives procrastinators three years to submit a return and claim a refund. The three-year countdown starts on the original due date of the return or the extension due date if an extension was filed.