Federal law requires you to maintain copies of your tax returns and supporting documents for three years. However, the IRS believes there may be indication of fraud, it may go back six years in an audit. Here are guidelines for maintaining copies of your tax returns and records.

Always create and store backup records electronically. Records may include but are not limited to – tax returns, bank statements, insurance policies, retirement, etc. Once you have your electronic records you should download them to a backup storage device or burn them onto a disc. Another suggestion is to backup your files online to ensure documents are fully protected in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster.

View the guidelines below for record retention:

Business Documents To Keep For One Year 

Business Documents To Keep For Three Years 

Business Documents To Keep For Six Years 

Business Records To Keep Forever 

As a business owner you are not required to keep tax records forever, but there will be other reasons you’ll want to retain these documents indefinitely. 

Personal Documents To Keep For One Year 

Personal Documents To Keep For Three Years 

Personal Documents To Keep For Six Years 

Personal Records To Keep Forever 

Special Circumstances 

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