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How Long Should You Keep Your Tax Docs?

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 21 2015

Document retention is an important issue when it comes to taxes. Many people are unsure of how long they should keep their tax returns and any other tax-related documents. And when it is time to get rid of the documents, what should you do with them?

In this article, we’ll tell you a little more about how long you should keep your tax documents, and give you some information regarding the document-shredding services we offer here at the Jones CPA Group.

Document Retention Policies

In most situations, you need to keep your filed tax returns and any documents relating to those returns for a minimum of 3 years. This coincides with the IRS’s statute of limitations, which states that the IRS has 3 years to conduct an audit and assess additional taxes against a tax payer. The 3-year limitation is calculated from the date that the return is filed, or that year’s tax deadline—whichever is later.

After this time period has passed, it is generally safe for you to purge the documents from your files. There are a few instances in which the IRS may assess taxes against you after the 3-year mark; these situations generally only apply to substantial errors in reported income, or deliberately fraudulent tax returns. So, as long as you are filing your taxes consistently and accurately, you may destroy any tax-related documents that are more than 3 years old.

Securely Destroying Tax Documents

Your tax returns contain sensitive information that needs to be protected at all times, including at the time of document destruction. You should not simply toss the papers into a garbage or recycling bin; even using your personal shredder may not be entirely secure.

At the Jones CPA Group, we offer secure document shredding for all of our clients. This service is entirely free, so you can bring in your old tax returns—or any other documents containing personal information—at any time. We’ll drop the paperwork in a locked receptacle that keeps your documents secure until they’re shredded.

When we are ready for the documents to be destroyed, a paper-shredding company comes to our CPA office, and we monitor them as they shred the documents in the receptacle. All of the shredded paperwork is then removed and disposed of properly. This ensures that all of your information stays secure and protected.

If you have tax returns, tax-related documents, or any other paperwork containing personal information, just bring it to the Jones CPA Group in Orem. We will shred and dispose of the paperwork safely and securely, so you don’t have to worry about anyone getting ahold of your personal information.

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