How long should I keep the documents that justify my taxes?
- Taxpayers must keep documentation that is sufficient to justify the information on their taxes. The IRS recommends keeping all sales receipts, invoices, canceled checks, annual forms, or other financial statements related to a particular transaction, whether physically or electronically. If documents cannot be produced due to reasons beyond your control, then you can reconstruct them to prove a deduction.
- You must keep your 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.
- You must keep your records for 6 years if you did not report income that you should have reported, and they represent more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return.
- You must keep your records indefinitely if you do not file a tax return or if you file a fraudulent one.