Today is the day: U.S. income taxes are due! So you’ve turned in your taxes, but what NOW? It’s time to archive the documents you may need in the rare case of an audit or mistake.
But WHAT documents do you need to keep, and HOW LONG do you need to keep them? See Nerd Wallet‘s straightforward guidelines for individuals, published in 2017. For small businesses, or self-employed individuals, see the IRS‘s official guidelines.
You might be surprised to find that THREE years is the length of time recommended to keep documents in almost all circumstances. And in just a few cases, SEVEN years is the very longest documents need to be kept.
I recommend you don’t invest too much time in archiving these papers—chances are you’ll never need to look at them again. Simply put them in a large envelope, or box, clearly labeled “TAX 2017” and tuck them far away in an attic or closet.
If you still have tax documents dating back a decade or more, I encourage you to discard them as you see fit (toss, burn, or shred) and feel confident doing so! Happy Tax Day 2018!