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How long do you save tax info?
Old 06-27-2019, 06:06 PM   #1
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How long do you save tax info?

In that 1099s can be downloaded & IRS already has W2s, how long do you keep them?
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:32 PM   #2
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Check out this thread:
What to shred and what to keep (old taxes)
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:18 PM   #3
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I added onto that post. Thank you
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:32 PM   #4
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I just shredded 2005 through 2011. I am keeping 7 years. The issue is usually never the income, but the deductions.
Such things as property tax bills, medical bills, and charitable contributions, and any other deductible expense should be retained..
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:56 PM   #5
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One of my first tasks after retiring was scanning and shredding all records, including taxes. I still scan / shred everything as soon as I file.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:02 PM   #6
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:10 PM   #7
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One of my first tasks after retiring was scanning and shredding all records, including taxes. I still scan / shred everything as soon as I file.
Do you have the files backed up, either on a CD or flash drive?
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:11 PM   #8
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I just shredded 2005 through 2011. I am keeping 7 years. The issue is usually never the income, but the deductions.
Such things as property tax bills, medical bills, and charitable contributions, and any other deductible expense should be retained..
Because I did not itemize after 2010, I guess I shouldn't worry about losing documentation before 2015. I have 2013 electronic return without 1099s & W2. Nothing from 2014. Complete records for 2015-2018 ....
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:24 PM   #9
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Tax returns, both federal and state, I save most recent three years of my own paper copies, plus all supporting paperwork (notes, receipts, 1099's, etc.). I try to save everything needed to figure out why and how I came up with every number on my return and sometimes even the citation in the instruction booklets and publications for why what I did was OK. I have electronic copies of stuff going back to 2008; this overlaps with the 3 years of paper stuff.

Besides returns, I do keep track of my Roth contribution and conversion history in a spreadsheet that goes back to 2001, which is apparently the year I made my first Roth contribution. I don't believe I saved all of the relevant 5498's. I also am starting to save Form 8606s which I have filed.

I'm pretty organized, but not as organized as I'd like to be on all of this.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:57 PM   #10
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Forever.

Just used tax return from 1987 to validate a questionable entry in my Social Security earnings record.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:03 PM   #11
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Do you have the files backed up, either on a CD or flash drive?
Yes, including at other locations. Full backups to external hard drive about monthly, daily changes to thumb drive.
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Old 06-28-2019, 03:39 AM   #12
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I actually have all of my paper returns. They are an interesting time capsule sometimes.
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Old 06-28-2019, 04:03 AM   #13
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I have everyone from 1973 to present.
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Old 06-28-2019, 04:10 AM   #14
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If you own property (ie house, taxable investments etc), then you will need to save records until you dispose of that property so that you will be able to calculate a proper adjusted basis upon sale of the property for capital gains tax purposes.

If you have traditional IRA and/or 401k then you will need to keep records if you ever made an after tax contribution and/or contribution that you weren't able to deduct. Technically if the money stays in the 401k and is not rolled over to an IRA, this will not be necessary. In many cases, however, 401ks are rolled over to IRAs and then the trouble begins. If you are not careful here, you will end up paying tax twice on the same contributions.
(see IRS form 8606 part 1)

If you have Roth IRAs and you would like the option to take a withdrawal before age 59 1/2 (ie non-qualified withdrawals) without paying tax or early retirement penalties, then you will also need your records. Note 8606 does not track these items until you actually take the withdrawals so you will need your own records of contributions and rollovers. In general for non-qualified distributions from Roth IRAs, cumulative amounts will not be sufficient -- you will need year-by-year records.
(see IRS 8606 part 3)

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Old 06-28-2019, 06:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Souschef View Post
I just shredded 2005 through 2011. I am keeping 7 years. The issue is usually never the income, but the deductions.
Such things as property tax bills, medical bills, and charitable contributions, and any other deductible expense should be retained..


+1

Friend just received an audit from IRS for 2012.
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Old 06-28-2019, 06:29 AM   #16
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+1. We have the returns all the way back to our first working years. I have delved back into them several times to obtain specific info.
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Old 06-28-2019, 06:44 AM   #17
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As I wrote in the linked thread, I keep 5 years of complete tax folders. More than 5 years ago (back to 1985), I keep only the returns and supporting statements and printouts of spreadsheets. Those take up about 1/3 of the entire folder. I have been building up electronic versions of my returns since I began using the fillable pdf forms back in 2014.
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:33 AM   #18
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One of my first tasks after retiring was scanning and shredding all records, including taxes. I still scan / shred everything as soon as I file.
+1

I do this and keep ALL records on my triple backed up data.

2 types of storage media, one kept offsite.
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:34 AM   #19
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It's so easy to keep PDF copies of all the documentation (with anything on paper scanned and converted to PDF) that there's no reason not to keep it all, merely for reference. I shred the paper stuff after a year. Been doing this for a while, and I have a folder on my computer for each tax year going back to 2003. Multiple separate backups, of course.

I've even had a couple of IRS letter audits over the years, and they were happy to look at things I had printed from my PDFs.
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:58 AM   #20
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I have my very first tax return I filed in 1983 and every one since then. It still all fits in one banker box. When it becomes more paper than one box can handle I will start purging.
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