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How Long Do I Have to Keep My Tax Records? December 27, 2017

Watertown, Litchfield
How Long Do I Have to Keep My Tax Records?, Watertown, Connecticut

RECORD RETENTION GUIDE FOR INDIVIDUALS

How long to keep records is a combination of your individual situation and state and federal statutes of limitation. Federal law requires you to maintain copies of your tax returns and supporting documents for three years following the date the return was filed or the due date of the return, whichever is later. Federal tax returns can generally be audited for up to three years after filing and up to six years if the IRS suspects under reported income (by 25% or more), so it’s wise to keep tax records six to seven years after a return is filed. Requirements for records kept electronically are the same as for paper records.

If/When the time finally comes to get rid of tax documents, please be sure to do so carefully. Tax returns contain sensitive personal information that can be used by identity thieves, so take the time to shred those forms thoroughly before parting with them for good.

You can find a detailed retention guide on our website, www.bergamocpa.com/taxretention.php  but generally you can follow these recommended retention periods for various documents:

Record                                                                                                Retention Period

 Tax returns (basic)…….. .……………………………           7 years

 Tax returns (all others)……………………………….           Permanent

 W-2s………………………………………………….           7 years

 1099s…………………………………………………           7 years

 Cancelled checks & supporting tax deductions……..            7 years

 Charitable contribution documentation………………          7 years

 Credit card statements……………………………….           7 years

 Receipts and/or logs pertaining to tax returns………            7 years

 Investment purchase & sales slips………..      Ownership period + 7 yrs

 Dividend reinvestment records……….…       Ownership period + 7 yrs

Year-end brokerage statements……….         Ownership period + 7 years

Mutual fund annual statements…………        Ownership period + 7 years

Bank deposit slips……………………………………           7 years

Bank statements…………………………………..…            7 years

Rental/Investment property purchase documents…….          Ownership period + 7 years

Home purchase documents……………………………         Ownership period + 7 yearsi

Home improvement receipts and cancelled checks….           Ownership period +7 yearsii

Home repair receipts and cancelled checks………….           Warranty period for item

Retirement plan annual reports……………………….          Permanent

IRA annual reports……………………………………         Permanent

IRA nondeductible contributions Form 8606………...         Permanent

Insurance Policies…………………………………….          Life policy +3 years iii

Divorce documents…………………………………...          Permanent

Loans…………………………………………………          Term of loan + 7 years

Estate planning documents…………………………..           Permanent

Keep indefinitely where tax rollovers are involved.

ii Keep indefinitely where tax rollovers are involved.

iii Check with your agent. Liability for prior years can vary

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