One question that my clients frequently ask me is, “How long do I need to keep my tax documents?”
In this situation in 2013, this client has taxes going back 30 years- from 1982.
You do not need to keep tax returns this long. According to the IRS, typically you need to keep your taxes for 3 years, and in some cases 7 years.
What I advise my clients is to keep tax documents for 10 years. This is a conservative amount of time that should keep you covered for any situation. This also makes it easier to know what to purge each year- if it’s 2015 you can easily subtract 10 to know that it’s time to get rid of 2005 files.
More information can be found at IRS.gov.