According to the IRS, you should keep your tax returns for at least three years. However, the state you live in ultimately decides the longevity of your tax returns and related tax documents. For Wisconsinites, it’s recommended to save your tax returns for four years because this is the time period in which you can edit your return to claim a refund. And, in terms of what tax records to keep and what you can shred, there are additional timelines.
What Tax Records to Keep and What to Shred
In the state of Wisconsin, there are a couple of instances in which you should hang onto your tax records for longer than the recommended four years. Those scenarios include:
- If you own property, then you should keep your property financial records for as long as you live in the property plus an additional 4 years after you file a return in which you report any sales of the property.
- If you own a business and report any losses for that business, then you should carry those loss documents for up to 20 years. This ensures the correctness of your business losses in the case of an audit.
Any documents that don’t fall under the categories listed above can be discarded once the statute of limitations expires. However, it’s crucial that your tax records are disposed of in the correct way.
How to Dispose of Old Tax Records
If you’re asking yourself “Can I throw away old tax returns?” - the answer is, “Once they’ve been shredded!” When the time comes where you can dispose of your old tax records, you must make sure they get shredded. With the amount of personal and private information listed on those documents, you don’t want them getting in the wrong hands. So, if you’re now asking yourself, “Where can I shred my old tax returns?” - the answer is, “At National Exchange Bank & Trust!
Shred Day at NEBAT
We’re offering community members the opportunity to dispose of confidential documents, including tax returns, in a secure method. We’ve partnered up with Shred-It, a company that specializes in secure shredding and information management solutions, to shred your personal, confidential papers for you. Our Shred Day is taking place on different days, at three different NEBAT offices, so find a Shred Day near you!