Save or dump? Retention guidelines help determine whether to keep or shred tax records
Abstract: How long is it necessary to hold on to tax-related documents? The quick answer is that it depends on the document. Generally, tax-related records should be kept three years after filing a return or, if later, three years after the tax return’s original due date. But in some cases, the statute of limitations extends beyond three years. In fact, some documents should be kept forever — not only for tax purposes, but to back up one’s work history. To avoid storage problems, it’s fine to store tax records electronically, so long as the system that’s used meets IRS standards.