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How long should I keep my tax records?

All business records, especially sales and payroll must be kept for seven years. The Social Security Administration requires discrepancy be resolved anytime within this seven-year window. The IRS and the states will audit within a five-year window. Keep all federal, state, and local returns indefinitely and all supporting documents for seven (7) years. Real Estate and stock market transactions records should be kept. Tax consequences of a transaction can depend on events that happened years earlier. Taxpayers often keep files in a single, easily accessible location.