You’ll want to keep some records and documents longer than others. It all depends on the document and your business.

Keep business income tax returns and supporting documents for at least seven years from the tax year of the return. The IRS can audit your return and you can amend your return to claim additional credits for a period that varies from three to seven years from the date you first filed. (These time frames are known as “periods of limitations.”) But it’s a good idea to use seven years as your guide for keeping these documents.

If you don’t file a return at all, the IRS can come after your business at any time.

Examples of supporting documents include:

  • profit and loss (P&L) statements
  • financial statements
  • check registers
  • ledgers
  • sales receipts
  • expense reports, and
  • invoices.

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