How Long Should I Keep My Records

Tax Return Forms For 2015

With April 15th coming up, we always hear this question. How long should I keep those tax records?

Here is our advice – and remember these are for your personal returns only, not business and if you have special circumstances contact your CPA and/or attorney for more information.

Keep for One Year

Your monthly statements of any financial accounts should be kept for one year. All paycheck statements, your W-2 form, and your retirement plan year-end statement. After you receive your W-2 form and check it against the last pay statement for the year, you can then shred and discard all paycheck statements.

Keep for Three Years

You should keep your federal income tax returns and related receipts and statements for at least three years. If you are audited, the IRS can review tax returns filed during the past three years, which includes requesting to see supporting documentation for the income and deductions you reported. As an example, you will need to keep your 2010 tax return and related papers until you file your 2013 tax return. It is generally safe to shred and discard it if after that. For more information see IRS Publication 552, Record keeping for Individuals.

How do I get rid of records I don’t need?

Glad you asked. With the threats of identity theft, you can never be too cautious about getting rid of records you don’t need. That is why we have a free shred day coming up on April 20th from 9am to 1pm. Just bring those old records to our facility at 1741 Elm Hill Pike and we are happy to securely shred those documents for you. Don’t just throw them away in the trash.