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How long do I need to keep my business tax records and associated documents?

2 years
1%
3 years
13%
4 years
2%
5 years
17%
6 years
5%
7 years
40%
9 years
2%
Indefinitely
13%
Not sure
2%
Next Question
Question: How long do I need to keep my business tax records and associated documents?
Top Answer (40% of 79 votes): 7 years.

Answer: Indefinitely
Explanation: We prefer forever. You never know when you may need them. Depending on storage space there are many options to preserve these records.
Phoenix Rising Financial Services
Answer: 7 years
Explanation: We can help you retain your records electronically, at no additional charge.
Blue Bell Wealth Advisors
Answer: Indefinitely
Explanation: This answer varies based upon the type of documents involved. Generally we recommend most standard documents to be retained at least seven years. Other documents such as operating agreements, articles of incorporation, buy-sell agreements, etc. we would encourage clients to keep these indefinitely.
OnTarget CPA
ProMatcher
Answer: 3 years
Explanation: If filing a complete tax return with no anticipated errors or omissions, 3 years. In certain cases, 6 years, if certain income was not reported. If you never filed a tax return, you should keep records indefinitely.
Mark S. Powell, ABA- Bookkeeping & Tax Services
Answer: 3 years
Explanation: If you filed timely and reported accurately, 3 years is the statute. Learn more at myirstaxrelief.com
Mike Habib, EA
Answer: 7 years
Explanation: Typically, the IRS can come after your business for failing to report income for up to 6 years after your filing if the amount is greater than 25% of your business's gross income. If you filed for a deduction for a bad debt or worthless security, the IRS suggests you keep your supporting tax records for 7 years
CPA Tax Advisors, Inc
ProMatcher
Answer: 9 years
Explanation: The IRS can normally do back 3 years for an audit providing there are not indication of fraud, and normally banks or potentials buyers would ask for 3 years of return and financial statement in making determination. so I would recommend keep the records for 5-6 years
KSM
Answer: 5 years
Explanation: I recommend that you keep a five year cycle. However, there are some documents you may need to keep for longer periods - for example - you should keep employee records indefinitely.
JFB Financial Services Inc
Answer: 5 years
Explanation: The law states that you have to keep your tax return and all supported document for a three years period. However, we encourage tax payers to keep them for Five years. Unless you are audited and there was fraud, in that case you have to keep them indefinitely.
Capstone Financial & Tax Service
ProMatcher
Answer: 7 years
Explanation: The minimum suggested is five. However with the ease of scanning there is no reason you cannot keep your old files indefinitely. Why? Occassionbally you need to go way back to verify cost basis or other tax history. With complete scanned records you have the resources in place to do so quickly. Mold, vermin or other document destroying issues will not affect you.
Amy Rose Herrick, ChFC
Answer: 6 years
Explanation: The IRS can audited you for six years.
Ayesha Tax SERVICE
Answer: Indefinitely
Explanation: 3 years if you owe additional tax 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities Nonetheless the records should be retained indefinitely.
Virtual Ventures LLC
ProMatcher
Answer: 3 years
Explanation: Keep records for 3 years if situations (4), (5), and (6) below do not apply to you. Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return. Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction. Keep records for 6 years if you do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return. Keep records indefinitely if you do not file a return. Keep records indefinitely if you file a fraudulent return. Keep employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.
Block Small Business
Answer: Indefinitely
Explanation: It actually depends on the situation. IF you understated your income you need to keep your records indefinitely. IF you amend a tax return than you should keep them for 7 years. It all depends on the tax year, complexity, and situation.
Suncrest Financial Services
Answer: 3 years
Explanation: Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return. Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.
Gross Mendelson CPAs and Advisors
ProMatcher
Answer: Indefinitely
Explanation: Vigilance the cost of doing business. Taxation authorities can go back as far in time as they wish when determining whether a business has fulfilled its tax liabilities over the years it has operated.
H. Jackson Business Service, Inc.
Answer: 5 years
Explanation: According to IRS pub 583 you need to keep it as long as the return can be called into question. Normally that is 3 years from the date that it is filed. Even if you file the return before the deadline with or without the extension it is considered filed on the date that it was do not the date it was sent in on. Out of safety I advice my clients to keep their records for no less then 5 years.
Your ATP
Answer: 5 years
Explanation: 5 YEARS IS SUFFICIENT. YOU SHOULD KEEP THEM FOR REFERENCE AND IN CASE THE IRS HAS ANY QUESTIONS YOU CAN ANSWER THEM EASILY
AMERICAN TAX AND BUSINESS SERVICES
ProMatcher
Answer: 6 years
Explanation: Generally, you should keep your supporting documents for six years. Even if you do not have to attach certain supporting documents to your return.
Capstone Financial & Tax Service
Answer: 4 years
Explanation: I believe all tax records should be saved. Scanning tax documents that are oldest is a great option.
BYG Bookkeeping Services
Answer: 7 years
Explanation: A good rule of thumb is seven years for all business records since the IRS recommends this for employee related files.
Joelee Holdaway, CPA
ProMatcher
Answer: 5 years
Explanation: You want to hold on to your tax records and support for a minimum of 5 years.
Robert J. Valas CPA, MBA, CFE
Answer: 5 years
Explanation: irs can audit you up to 3 years after you FILE your taxes.
immed
Answer: 7 years
Explanation: The answer for this one isn't so cut and dry. For more people saving your returns for 3 years + the year you are in will be fine but in certain cases the period to hold records may be longer. Here's what the IRS has to say: Note: Keep copies of your filed tax returns. They help in preparing future tax returns and making computations if you file an amended return. You owe additional tax and situations (2), (3), and (4), below, do not apply to you; keep records for 3 years. You do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return; keep records for 6 years. You file a fraudulent return; keep records indefinitely. You do not file a return; keep records indefinitely. You file a claim for credit or refund* after you file your return; keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. You file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction; keep records for 7 years. Keep all employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.
Zest Business Consulting
ProMatcher
Answer: 9 years
Explanation: IRS says 4 years, however 10 years is recommended.
Abacus Accounting Solutions
Answer: 7 years
Explanation: Depends on what the documents are
Invictus Advisors
Answer: 3 years
Explanation: Only if you did not under-report or have any other complicating factors.
Veritas Business Advisors
ProMatcher
Answer: 7 years
Explanation: Most expenses related records must be kept for 7 years. However, there are some records that can be kept for less and some records (e.g. Corporate Documents (incorporation, charter, by-laws, etc.)) which must be kept permanently.
Goldburd McCone LLP
Answer: 3 years
Explanation: According to my CPA, it use to be 7 years. Now it is 3.
Burgis Successful Solutions
Answer: 7 years
Explanation: As long as you file a tax return and it is not fraudulent, then 7 years is more than enough.
Bottom-Line Bookkeeping & Accounting
ProMatcher
Answer: 7 years
Explanation: While most Tax Audits are going to look at the last 3 years, the IRS can challenge TAX Returns & Receipts as far back as 7 years.
International Standard for Lean Six Sigma
Answer: 6 years
Explanation: If the IRS thinks you did anything fraudulent they can go back forever. We recommend you keep your actual tax returns forever. The supporting documents you can get rid of after 6 years.
Incite Tax and Accounting
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