The IRS Paper Trail

The agency wants you to keep good tax records. All the better to help you in an IRS audit.


So, you filed your taxes on time and maybe even got a nice little refund. Phew!

But the IRS wants you to know that while tax season is finally over, there are a few more things you should tend to regarding your return.

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 how to keep good records.

  1. Normally, you should keep tax records for three years.
  2. Some documents — such as records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRA and business or rental property — should be kept longer.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).





wyatt April 23, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Wouldn't it be great if we could pass on a country to our children without the IRS? In our supposedly free country, we have a government agency that unconstitutionally steals an average of one-third of a working persons income. The American Gestapo, also known as the IRS, has almost unlimited powers to harass, seize property, imprison and bankrupt American citizens. All without due process of law. Everyday this band of thugs is allowed to exist is an insult to our founders and our American heritage.


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