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by IRS.gov, August 18, 2010
Editor’s note: Content provided by the Internal Revenue Service. Consult your financial or tax adviser regarding your individual situation.
You may not be thinking about your tax return right now, but it is a great time to start planning for next year and to make sure your records are organized. Maintaining good records now can make filing your return a lot easier and it will help you remember transactions you made during the year.
Here are a few things the Internal Revenue Service wants you to know about recordkeeping.
Keeping well-organized records also ensures that you can answer questions if your return is selected for examination or prepare a response if you receive an IRS notice. In most cases, the IRS does not require you to keep records in any special manner. Generally speaking, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return.
Individual taxpayers should usually keep the following records supporting items on their tax returns for at least three years:
You should normally keep records relating to property until at least three years after you sell or otherwise dispose of the property. Examples include:
If you are a small business owner, you must keep all your employment tax records for at least four years after the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later. Examples of important documents business owners should keep include:
For more about recordkeeping, check out IRS publications 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals; 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records; and 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses. These publications are available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
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