The length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event the document verifies. Generally, you must keep records that verify items of income or deductions on a tax return until the "statute of limitations" for that return runs out. The "statute of limitations" is the time you are allowed to amend your tax return to claim a credit or refund, or that the IRS can assess additional tax.
It is recommended that you keep all tax records for a minimum of seven (7) years. Some records should be kept indefinitely. For more detailed information, please use one of the links below.
General Information Site - IRS (Navigates away from Eads site)
Recordkeeping for Individuals - IRS Publication 552 (Opens new window - PDF File Download)
Starting a Business and Keeping Records -IRS Publication 583 (Opens new window - PDF File Download)
Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses - IRS Publication 463 (OPens new window - PDF File Download)