TurboTax / Tax Calculators & Tips / All Tax Guides / IRS Tax Return / Video: IRS Tax Return Retention Requirements

Video: IRS Tax Return Retention Requirements

Updated for Tax Year 2015


OVERVIEW

The IRS has some very specific requirements when it comes to tax return retention. Learn about IRS tax return retention requirements with help from TurboTax in this video on tax tips.


Video transcript:

Hello, I'm Jeremy from TurboTax with important news on why you should keep copies of your tax returns.

So, you've finished your tax return and sent it off to the IRS but did you remember to keep a copy for your records? If not, it may come back to haunt you at some point.

The IRS encourages you to hold on to a copy of your tax return for at least three years after you file it. This is the amount of time the IRS has to audit that return and possibly increase the amount of tax you owe.

If this does happen it will be hard for you to defend yourself without a copy of the return but even more important than the tax return are the documents that you use to calculate each item reported on it. This is your proof and without it it's hard to challenge the IRS agent.

Keep in mind that this limitation period increases to six years if you fail to report more than 25 percent of your actual income. This extension applies even when the omission is an honest mistake.

You are subject to the same three year limitation when it comes to claiming a tax refund. If you realize you made an error on a prior return that caused you to overpay your taxes, a lack of proof may reduce your chances of getting a refund.

The good news is when you file with TurboTax, you can print as many copies as you like. If you use our CD or download product, you can store a copy of your return on your computer and if you use our online product, you'll be able to access your return online as many times as you like for three years.

For more tax tips and guidance, visit TurboTax.com.

Get every deduction you deserve

TurboTax Deluxe searches more than 350 tax deductions and credits so you get your maximum refund, guaranteed.

For only $54.99*
Start for Free

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.


Security is built into everything we do
Here's how
* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • Filing Deadline: IRS filing deadline for tax year 2015 is April 18, 2016 (except for residents of Massachusetts or Maine, where the IRS filing deadline for tax year 2015 is April 19, 2016).
  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. Free 1040EZ/A + Free State offer only available with TurboTax Federal Free Edition; Offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase expected 3/18/16. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for efiling state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase expected 3/18/16. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard message and data rates apply to download and use mobile app.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with efile and direct deposit; tax refund timeframes will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $X.XX Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice. This benefit is available with TurboTax Federal products except the TurboTax Home & Business/QuickBooks Self-Employed bundle offers.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support vary by time of year.
  • About our credentialed tax experts: Live tax advice service is available via phone for your toughest tax questions; fees may apply. Service, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice. Not available for TurboTax Business customers.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2014 TurboTax products.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.