Storing Copies of Your Tax Return

After you have filed your tax return or have had someone prepare it for you, you are faced with the question of where to store your return. The statute of limits, the time period for which the IRS can come back and challenge deductions or differences in income on your return, can vary from 3 to 7 years and in some cases longer than that. If you have a home base, that you return periodically, it is a small problem to keep a file draw in a cabinet to store the returns along with the documents used to prepare the return. If you are a full time RVer, traveling with all of your things with you, finding a place to store all of that paperwork can be a “taxing undertaking” (pun intended) and it will get harder each passing year. More and more people are scanning their returns and saving them on their computer. This makes a backup to a USB flash drive, a CD or to an offsite or on the internet somewhere, most important. When you have your return prepared for you, many tax preparers will now furnish you with a digital copy of your return; no longer need to scan it. This is how I furnish the client copy to my clients. Those who have been getting it this way no longer care to receive a paper copy. This saves paper and postage. They no longer have to have their copy of the return first mailed to their mail forwarding service only to be forwarded on to them when they get to a postage receiving station. I email it to them encrypted and password protected. It’s safer that sitting in a mail box someplace.
Storing the return is an acceptable method to the IRS for storage of your return and for storage of your backup documents. You no longer need boxes of paperwork filling up space in the basement of your rig. Just be sure to backup your data in multiple place for safekeeping.