How long should you keep tax records?

Tax records are important because they can be used for you, and even against you in a court of law. Tax records prove how much money, in taxes, you paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during a given year. They hold a lot of personal information such as social security, income, and other information you probably like to keep secret. The IRS requires an individual to keep their tax records for a specific year for at least 3 years, sometimes even longer than that. The reason being is that if there are certain things you believe you need to claim, you have until that required time in order to file a claim. This claim can be a refund, a claim on a loss on your return due to bad debt expenses and/or worthless securities, or other things. You must have your records on file in order to make your claim to the IRS.

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