Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Don't throw away those tax-related receipts just yet

As the April 15 tax deadline has come and passed many Ohio residents can breathe a sigh of relief. Many may also be tempted to toss all those receipts and other tax-related documents right into the trash. Before taking such action, however, it's important to know what the legal statute of limitations is should an IRS audit occur.

For authentic tax returns, the general statute of limitations is three years. It's important, therefore to tuck away the shoebox full of receipts, invoices and credit card statements for at least another few years before deciding to send them through the shredder.

In cases where information listed on a tax return may not be 100 percent valid, individuals would be wise to keep all supporting tax-related documentation basically forever. Should an IRS audit happen down the road, it's critical that an individual is able to present financial information such as W-2 forms, cancelled checks, bills and old statements upon request.

Oh, and it's actually advisable not to store important tax documents in a shoe box or any box for that matter. Ensuring tax returns and supporting documents are organized by year and type of expenditure can be of great help when and if the IRS comes knocking. Another option is to actually scan important documents and organize and store them on a computer.

Individuals who find themselves facing an IRS audit often feel a sense of dread and panic. While an IRS audit is not typically a fun process, it does not need to be a dreaded one. Having the necessary documentation in a neat and organized manner can greatly help.

Source: Forbes, "How Long Should You Keep Records After Tax Day?," Kelly Phillips Erb, April 19, 2013