How Long To Keep Tax Returns (And Why)?

How Long To Keep Tax Returns (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 7 Years

According to the Income Tax Act of 1961, everybody whose general every year earnings is above a particular threshold is obligated to pay earnings tax. Tax submitting is the technique of calculating a tax due, growing a tax go back, and filing the finished go back to the Internal Revenue Service.

Any individual, Hindu Undivided Family also known as HUF, company, the frame of persons, affiliation of persons, or different entity that made an income withinside the previous monetary 12 months ought to report a tax return.

How Long To Keep Tax Returns

How Long To Keep Tax Returns?

It is suggested that a person should preserve his earnings and tax returns data for at least 7 years after filing. What is the purpose at the back of this? A person is ought to preserve his data for the lengthy term, even when they have accompanied the right strategies and submitted your taxes appropriately.

This is due to the fact they will need to keep their documentation available if the Income Tax Department troubles an inquiry or initiates an inquiry into your preceding returns any time in the future. The earnings tax branch has the authority to ship a notification to taxpayers for seven years after the financial year ends.

In this manner that in case someone submitted an ITR for the financial year 2019-20, they ought to preserve the helping documentation with their till the give up of the financial year 2026-27.

The earnings tax branch does have the authority to request records from preceding instances relationship returned up to 10 years, however, this best applies in times wherein the branch has proof towards a person, however, it may best be to complete it in seeking instances.

Various forms of taxpayers are included beneath the seven-year term. Whether they are salaried, self-employed, or specialists, the time frame for retaining data for seven years from the give up of the applicable economic year will be the same for all.


VerificationTime Taken
E-filling35-45 days
Tax Returns20-45 days

Why To Keep Tax Returns For So Long?


How long one should keep a document depends on the activity, expense, or events it records. As a general rule, people must keep their records of income, deduction, or credit shown on their tax returns until the expiration date for that return.

A cut-off period is the period of time during which a person can change his tax return to claim a loan or refund, or the IRS can calculate additional taxes. The following information reflects the limitation period applicable to income tax returns. Unless otherwise stated, years are the period after the filing of the declaration.

Profit paid out before the due date is considered paid out on the due date. Keep copies of the filed tax returns. They will help a person to prepare future tax returns and make calculations if they file a revised tax return.

According to the IRS, the period during which a person can still amend his tax return to claim a tax deduction or refund is called the cut-off period. During this time, the IRS may still charge you additional tax liabilities. The tax office may have more time to review the state tax return than the IRS to review the federal tax return.

As a general rule, keep records of the property before the expiration of the year in which you are in charge of the property. One should keep these records for calculating depreciation, amortization, or deductions, and for calculating profit or loss on the sale or disposal of property.


People should always keep copies of their tax returns indefinitely. Having access to copies of the previous tax returns can help a person prepare future tax returns and calculate whether he needs to file an amended return via cloud storage and scanning.

There is no particular reason to delete old tax returns. It is recommended that people can all keep their tax returns for life on the computers without affecting the storage limits.

To be clear, one will need to keep tax records for three to seven years. To be safe without memorizing the fine print, be sure to keep the tax records for seven years. One should simplify his life, and also save their government tax records. Rules will differ from state to state, so take the time to find out how long the state expects you to keep the tax records.


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22 thoughts on “How Long To Keep Tax Returns (And Why)?”

  1. While the article offers valuable information on the duration of retaining tax records, it could be perceived as excessive, and possibly burdensome for many taxpayers.

    1. I agree, the imposed 7-year duration may be considered overbearing for taxpayers, impacting their record-keeping practices negatively.

    2. Perhaps the article could have elaborated on the potential challenges associated with retaining tax records for such a prolonged period, providing a more nuanced perspective.

  2. The article’s explanation of the cut-off period and its relevance is commendable, providing clarity on the duration of record-keeping.

    1. I concur. The details about the cut-off period are imperative for taxpayers to comprehend their obligation of retaining records.

  3. This article provides a comprehensive explanation of the time frame for retaining tax records, ensuring a clear understanding for all taxpayers.

    1. Absolutely, the detailed information is helpful for everyone to know their responsibilities in retaining tax returns.

  4. The article provides an insightful explanation of the process of tax filing and the need to maintain tax returns, emphasizing the importance of careful record-keeping.

  5. Avatar of Joshua Richards
    Joshua Richards

    This article effectively highlights the significance of maintaining tax returns for an extended period, ensuring individuals are well-informed about their responsibilities.

    1. Absolutely, the article conveys a thorough understanding of the necessity to retain tax records, ensuring compliance with tax obligations.

  6. I find the emphasis on keeping tax records for at least 7 years quite excessive. Shouldn’t it be shorter?

  7. The article offers extensive details on the importance of maintaining tax records, signifying the need for systematic record-keeping to fulfill tax requirements effectively.

    1. The emphasis on meticulous maintenance of tax records ensures that taxpayers are well-prepared for any future tax-related inquiries, as elucidated in the article.

    2. Indeed, the article underscores the necessity of accurate and long-term record-keeping for tax purposes, promoting compliance with tax regulations.

  8. The article’s detailed explanation of the necessity to retain tax records for an extended period is informative, emphasizing the importance of long-term tax compliance.

    1. Indeed, the article effectively communicates the significance of maintaining records for future reference, allowing taxpayers to adhere to tax regulations effectively.

  9. While the article articulates the need to retain tax records clearly, the 7-year duration might appear ironic, yet unquestionably obligatory for compliance with tax laws.

    1. The article’s portrayal of the 7-year retention period is indeed ironic, yet it reinforces the essential nature of meticulous record-keeping in the realm of tax obligations.

    2. I agree, the prolonged 7-year requirement may seem paradoxical, but it undeniably serves the vital purpose of ensuring tax compliance and readiness for future inquiries.

  10. The clarification on the purpose of retaining tax records for such a duration is enlightening and vital for proper adherence to tax regulations.

    1. I am amazed by how this article has elucidated the significance of retaining tax records for long-term compliance.

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