You’ve Filed Your US Expat Taxes – Now What?
After you send your tax returns to the IRS, be sure that you’re not simply shredding all of the documents you gathered to determine what you paid and what you owed. Although it’s not likely that you’ll be audited, it’s a good idea to retain documents that the IRS might request if they ever need to substantiate your return and the deductions you claimed.
What the IRS Says
Here are five tips from the IRS about keeping good records:
- Normally, tax records should be kept for three years.
- Some documents — such as records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRA and business or rental property — should be kept longer.
- In most cases, the IRS does not require you to keep records in any special manner. Generally speaking, however, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return.
- Records you should keep include bills, credit card and other receipts, invoices, mileage logs, canceled, imaged or substitute checks, proofs of payment, and any other records to support deductions or credits you claim on your return.
- For more information on what kinds of records to keep, see IRS Publication 552.
So instead of tossing your documents or mixing them in with other household papers, be sure to set aside any useful records or items just in case you need them in the future.