When can you safely discard old documents?

We all have piles and boxes of paper filling closets and the garage.  How long do we actually have to keep them?Image

This is from the IRS*: 

Note: Keep copies of your filed tax returns. They help in preparing future tax returns and making computations if you file an amended return.

  1. You owe additional tax and situations (2), (3), and (4), below, do not apply to you; keep records for 3 years.
  2. You do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return; keep records for 6 years.
  3. You file a fraudulent return; keep records indefinitely.
  4. You do not file a return; keep records indefinitely.
  5. You file a claim for credit or refund* after you file your return; keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  6. You file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction; keep records for 7 years.
  7. Keep all employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.

Now that you know what you have to keep, it’s time to get rid of the rest.  Come to the Keller Williams Shred Day event on April 26th and safely dispose of those old papers.  Make some room in your closet for new shoes!

 

*http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/How-long-should-I-keep-records

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