What to do with your tax records

Now that April 18 has come and gone, you may be wondering what to do with your tax records and what the typical record retention requirements are. Once you are filed and your refund or payment is settled, your tax records should be kept for a minimum of three years from the date of filing, as the statute of limitations is three years after you file the return.

However, the statute of limitations is six years for any taxpayer who, either purposefully or accidentally, files a return that reports their gross income 25% lower than actual.

Although it is generally okay to discard tax records after three years, a copy of each year's tax return should be kept indefinitely. Unfiled returns and fraudulent returns are not protected from audit by the statute of limitations, so it is important to keep copies of your returns to prove to the IRS that you did in fact file if ever questioned.