Spring Cleaning: Tax Records You Can Throw Away
Spring is a great time to clean out that growing mountain of financial papers and tax documents that clutters your home and office. Here's what you need to keep and what you can throw out without fearing the wrath of the IRS.
Let's start with your "safety zone," the IRS statute of limitations. This limits the number of years during which the IRS can audit your tax returns. Once that period has expired, the IRS is legally prohibited from even asking you questions about those returns.
The concept behind it is that after a period of years, records are lost or misplaced and memory isn't as accurate as we would hope. There's a need for finality. Once the statute of limitations has expired, the IRS can't go after you for additional taxes, but you can't go after the IRS for additional refunds, either.
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Darrell Groves | 04/17/2012
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