Retaining and storing your income tax records is an important final step of your tax filing responsibility. Here are the rules about how long you should store your tax records.
In general, tax records should be kept for the same length of time that the IRS could potentially audit a return or assess a tax deficiency. For more taxpayers, this period is three years from the original due date of the return or the date an amended return is filed, if later.
For example, if you filed your 2012 Form 1040 on or before April 15, 2013, the IRS has until April 15, 2016 to audit the reurn and assess a deficiency. There are exceptions to the three year rule.