Wondering how long you need to keep tax records and other documents? Federal law requires that you keep copies of tax returns and supporting materials for three years; however, the IRS can demand up to six years of records in the event of an audit. To ensure you have any necessary information to cover your risk, but to avoid piling up more papers in storage than you need, follow the retention guidelines below. This information is provided as a general guide for how long you should retain your personal income tax records.
It is always advisable to have both a paper copy and electronic backup, preferably stored offsite or on a different device from your main computer network in the event of a natural disaster or business disruption. Any documents containing financial or personal information should be shredded prior to discarding or recycling.