Keeping good records after you file your taxes is a good idea, as they will help you with documentation and substantiation if the IRS selects your return for an audit. Here are five tips from the IRS about keeping good records.
- Normally, tax records should be kept for three years.
- Some documents — such as records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRA and business or rental property — should be kept longer.
- In most cases, the IRS does not require you to keep records in any special manner. Generally speaking, however, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return.
- Records you should keep include bills, credit card and other receipts, invoices, mileage logs, canceled, imaged or substitute checks, proofs of payment, and any other records to support deductions or credits you claim on your return.
- For more information on what kinds of records to keep, see IRS Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals, which is available on the IRS website at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
TaxACT recommends you also:
- Print a copy of your return to file with your tax records. Printing instructions for TaxACT Online users. Instructions for download users.
- Save an electronic copy of your return. Instructions
- TaxACT Online users: Write down your user name and password so you can quickly import this year's data into next year's return.
- TaxACT Online users: Consider purchasing TaxACT's Data Archive Service that allows you access to your 2011 TaxACT Online account through 4/30/15. To purchase, sign in, click on "My TaxACT" in the upper right corner, and select "TaxACT 2011 Data Archive Service" under "Helpful Links".
- Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals (PDF 61K)