TAX CENTER

Tax Center Help

When will you receive your refund? The answer depends on how you filed your return. The IRS should issue your refund check within six to eight weeks of filing a paper return. If you chose to receive your refund through direct deposit, you should receive it within a week. If you use e-file, your refund should be issued between two and three weeks.

You can check on the status of your refund by clicking on the links below.

Check your Federal Tax  Refund… CLICK HERE

Check your Georgia Tax Refund… CLICK HERE

January 2019
 
During JanuaryAll Employers – Give your employees their copies of Form W-2 for 2018 by January 31, 2019. If an employee agreed to receive Form W-2 electronically, post it on a website accessible to the employee and notify the employee of the posting by January 31.
 
January 10Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during December 2018, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070 Employee’s Report of Tips to Employer.
 
January 15Individuals – Make a payment of your estimated tax for 2018 if you did not pay your income tax for the year through withholding (or did not pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES. This is the final installment date for 2018 estimated tax. However, you do not have to make this payment if you file your 2018 return (Form 1040) and pay any tax due by January 31, 2019.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in December 2018.
 
 Employers – Nonpayroll Withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in December 2018.
 
 Farmers and Fishermen – Pay your estimated tax for 2018 using Form 1040-ES. You have until April 15 (April 17 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts) to file your 2018 income tax return (Form 1040). If you do not pay your estimated tax by January 15, you must file your 2018 return and pay any tax due by March 1, 2019, to avoid an estimated tax penalty.
 
January 31Individuals who must make estimated tax payments. If you did not pay your last installment of estimated tax by January 15, you may choose (but are not required) to file your income tax return (Form 1040) for 2018 by January 31. Filing your return and paying any tax due by January 31, 2019, prevents any penalty for late payment of the last installment. If you cannot file and pay your tax by January 31, file and pay your tax by April 15 (April 17 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts).
 
 Employers – Give your employees their copies of Form W-2 for 2018. If an employee agreed to receive Form W-2 electronically, have it posted on a website and notify the employee of the posting. File Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, along with Copy A of all the Forms W-2 you issued for 2018.
 
 Businesses – Give annual information statements to recipients of certain payments made during 2018. You can use the appropriate version of Form 1099 or other information return. Form 1099 can be issued electronically with the consent of the recipient.
 
 Payers of nonemployee compensation – File Form 1099-MISC for nonemployee compensation paid in 2018.
 
 Health Coverage Reporting – If you are an Applicable Large Employer, provide Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, to full-time employees. For all other providers of minimum essential coverage, provide Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, to responsible individuals.
 
 February 2019
 
February 11Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during January, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. File Form 941 for the fourth quarter of 2018. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter in full and on time.
 
 Employers – Federal unemployment tax. File Form 940 for 2018. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year in full and on time.
 
 Employers – Nonpayroll taxes. File Form 945 to report income tax withheld for 2018 on all nonpayroll items. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year in full and on time.
 
 Certain Small Employers – File Form 944 to report Social Security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2018. This tax due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year in full and on time.
 
 Farm Employers – File Form 943 to report Social Security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2018. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year in full and on time.
 
February 15Individuals – If you claimed exemption from income tax witholding last year on the Form W-4 you gave your employer, you must file a new Form W-4 by this date to continue your exemption for another year.
 
 Businesses – Give annual information statements to recipients of certain payments made during 2018. You can use the appropriate version of Form 1099 or other information return. This due date applies only to payments reported on Form 1099-B, Form 1099-S, and substitute payments reported in Box 8 or gross proceeds paid to an attorney reported in Box 14, respectively
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in January.
 
 Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in January.
 
February 16Employers – Begin withholding income tax from the pay of any employee who claimed exemption from withholding in 2018, but did not give you a new Form W-4 to continue the exemption this year.
 
February 28Payers of Gambling Winnings – File Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, along with Copy A of all the Forms W-2G you issued for 2018. If you file Forms W-2G electronically, your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to April 1. The due date for giving the recipient these forms remains January 31.
 
 Large Food and Beverage Establishment Employers – with employees who work for tips. File Form 8027, Employer’s Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips. Use Form 8027-T, Transmittal of Employer’s Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, to summarize and transmit Forms 8027 if you have more than one establishment. If you file Forms 8027 electronically your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to April 1.
 
 Health Coverage Reporting – If you are an Applicable Large Employer, file paper Forms 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, and 1095-C with the IRS. For all other providers of minimum essential coverage, file paper Forms 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns, and 1095-B with the IRS. If you are filing any of these forms with the IRS electronically, your due date for filing them will be extended to April 1.
 
 

Businesses – File information returns (for example, certain Forms 1099) for certain payments you made during 2018. However, Form 1099-MISC reporting nonemployee compensation must be filed by January 31. There are different forms for different types of payments. Use a separate Form 1096 to summarize and transmit the forms for each type of payment. See the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns for information on what payments are covered, how much the payment must be before a return is required, what form to use, and extensions of time to file.

If you file Forms 1097, 1098, 1099 (except a Form 1099-MISC reporting nonemployee compensation), 3921, 3922 or W-2G electronically, your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to April 1. The due date for giving the recipient these forms generally remains January 31.

 
 March 2019
 
March 1Farmers and Fishermen – File your 2018 income tax return (Form 1040) and pay any tax due. However, you have until April 15 (April 17 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts) to file if you paid your 2018 estimated tax by January 15, 2019.
 
March 11Employees who work for tips. – If you received $20 or more in tips during February, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
March 15Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in February.
 
 Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in February.
 
 Partnerships – File a 2018 calendar year income tax return (Form 1065). Provide each partner with a copy of their Schedule K-1 (Form 1065-B) or substitute Schedule K-1. To request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the return, file Form 7004. Then file the return and provide each partner with a copy of their final or amended (if required) Schedule K­1 (Form 1065) by September 16.
 
 S Corporations – File a 2018 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120S) and pay any tax due. Provide each shareholder with a copy of Schedule K-1 (Form 1120S), Shareholder’s Share of Income, Credits, Deductions, etc., or a substitute Schedule K-1. If you want an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the return, file Form 7004 and deposit what you estimate you owe in tax. Then file the return, pay any tax, interest, and penalties due and provide each shareholder with a copy of their Schedule K-1 by September 16.
 
 S corporation election – File Form 2553, Election by a Small Business Corporation, to choose to be treated as an S corporation beginning with calendar year 2019. If Form 2553 is filed late, S corporation treatment will begin with calendar year 2020.
 
 April 2019
 
April 1Electronic Filing of Forms – File Forms 1097, 1098, 1099 (except Form 1099-MISC), 3921, 3922, and W-2G with the IRS. This due date applies only if you file electronically. The due date for giving the recipient these forms generally remains January 31.
 
 Electronic Filing of Form W-2G – File copies of all the Form W-2G (Certain Gambling Winnings) you issued for 2018. This due date applies only if you electronically file. The due date for giving the recipient these forms remains January 31.
 
 Electronic Filing of Forms 8027 – File copies of all the Forms 8027 you issued for 2018. This due date applies only if you electronically file.
 
 Electronic Filing of Forms 1094-C and 1095-C and Forms 1094-B and 1095-B – If you’re an Applicable Large Employer, file electronic forms 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS. For all other providers of minimum essential coverage, file electronic Forms 1094-B and 1095-B with the IRS.
 
April 10Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during March, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
April 15Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.
 
 Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.
 
 Individuals – File an income tax return for 2018 (Form 1040) and pay any tax due. If you live in Maine or Massachusetts you may file by April 17. If you want an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the return, file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and pay what you estimate you owe in tax to avoid penalties and interest. Then file Form 1040 by October 15.
 
 Household Employers – If you paid cash wages of $2,100 or more in 2018 to a household employee, file Schedule H (Form 1040) with your income tax return and report any employment taxes. Report any federal unemployment (FUTA) tax on Schedule H (Form 1040) if you paid total cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter of 2017 or 2018 to household employees.
 
 Individuals – If you are not paying your 2019 income tax through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax during the year that way), pay the first installment of your 2019 estimated tax. Use Form 1040-ES.
 
 Corporations – File a 2018 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the return, file Form 7004 and deposit what you estimate you owe in taxes.
 
 Corporations – Deposit the first installment of estimated income tax for 2019. A worksheet, Form 1120-W, is available to help you estimate your tax for the year.
 
April 30Employers – Federal unemployment tax. Deposit the tax owed through March if more than $500.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2019. Deposit any undeposited tax. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter in full and on time, you have until May 10 to file the return.
 
 May 2019
 
May 10Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during April, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2019. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter in full and on time.
 
May 15 Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in April.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in April.
 
 June 2019
 
June 10Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during May, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
June 17

Individuals – If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien living and working (or on military duty) outside the United States and Puerto Rico, file Form 1040 and pay any tax, interest, and penalties due. If you want additional time to file your return, file Form 4868 to obtain 4 additional months to file. Then file Form 1040 by October 15.

However, if you are a participant in a combat zone you may be able to further extend the filing deadline.

 
 Individuals – Make a payment of your 2019 estimated tax if you are not paying your income tax for the year through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES. This is the second installment date for estimated tax in 2019.
 
 Corporations – Deposit the second installment of estimated income tax for 2019. A worksheet, Form 1120-W, is available to help you estimate your tax for the year.
 
  Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in May.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in May.
 
 July 2019
 
July 10Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during June, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
July 15Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in June.
 
 Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in June.
 
July 31Employers – Federal unemployment tax. Deposit the tax owed through June if more than $500.
 
 Employers – If you maintain an employee benefit plan, such as a pension, profit sharing, or stock bonus plan, file Form 5500 or 5500-EZ for calendar year 2018. If you use a fiscal year as your plan year, file the form by the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends.
 
 Certain Small Employers – Deposit any undeposited tax if your tax liability is $2,500 or more for 2019 but less than $2,500 for the second quarter.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. File Form 941 for the second quarter of 2019. Deposit any undeposited tax. (If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return.) If you deposited the tax for the quarter in full and on time, you have until August 12 to file the return.
 
 August 2019
 
August 12Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during July, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. File Form 941 for the second quarter of 2019. This due date only applies if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.
 
August 15Employer – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in July.
 
 Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in July.
 
 September 2019
 
September 10Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during August, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
September 16Individuals – Make a payment of your 2019 estimated tax if you are not paying your income tax for the year through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES. This is the third installment date for estimated tax in 2019.
 
 Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in August.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in August.
 
 S Corporations – File a 2018 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120S) and pay any tax due. This due date applies only if you timely requested an automatic 6-month extension. Provide each shareholder with a copy of Schedule K-1 (Form 1120S) or a substitute Schedule K-1.
 
 Partnerships – File a 2018 calendar year return (Form 1065). This due date applies only if you were given an additional 6-month extension. Provide each partner with a copy of Schedule K1 (Form 1065) or a substitute Schedule K1.
 
 Corporations – Deposit the third installment of estimated income tax for 2019. A worksheet, Form 1120-W, is available to help you make an estimate of your tax for the year.
 
 October 2019
 
October 10Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during September, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
October 15Individuals – If you have an automatic 6-month extension to file your income tax return for 2018, file Form 1040 and pay any tax, interest, and penalties due.
 
 Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in September.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in September.
 
 Corporations – File a 2018 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax, interest, and penalties due. This due date applies only if you timely requested an automatic 6-month extension.
 
October 31Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. File form 941 for the third quarter of 2019. Deposit any undeposited tax. (If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return.) If you deposited the tax for the quarter in full and on time, you have until November 12 to file the return.
 
 Certain Small Employers – Deposit any undeposited tax if your tax liability is $2,500 or more for 2019 but less than $2,500 for the third quarter.
 
 Employers – Federal Unemployment Tax. Deposit the tax owed through September if more than $500.
 
 November 2019
 
During NovemberEmployers – Income tax withholding. Encourage employees to fill out a new Form W-4 for 2020 if they experienced any personal or financial changes. The 2020 revision of Form W-4 will be available on the IRS website by mid-December.
 
November 12Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during October, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. File Form 941 for the third quarter of 2019. This due date only applies if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.
 
November 15Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in October.
 
 Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in October.
 
 December 2019
 
December 10Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during November, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
December 16Corporations – Deposit the fourth installment of estimated income tax for 2019. A worksheet, Form 1120-W, is available to help you estimate your tax for the year.
 
 Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in November.
 
 Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in November.

 

2018 Tax Rates – Single Taxpayers – Standard Deduction $12,000

2017 Rates

10%

0 to $9,525

12%

$9,525 to $38,700

22%

$38,700 to $82,500

24%

$82,500 to $157,500

32%

$157,500 to $200,000

35%

$200,000 to $500,000

37%

Over $500,000

2018 Tax Rates – Married Jointly & Surviving Spouses – Standard Deduction $24,000

10%

0 to $19,050

12%

$19,050 to $77,400

22%

$77,400 to $165,000

24%

$165,000 to $315,000

32%

$315,000 to $400,000

35%

$400,000 to $600,000

37%

Over $600,000

2018 Tax Rates – Married Filing Separately – Standard Deduction $12,000

10%

0 to $9,525

12%

$9,525 to $38,700

22%

$38,700 to $82,500

24%

$82,500 to $157,500

32%

$157,500 to $200,000

35%

$200,000 to $300,000

37%

Over $300,000

2018 Tax Rates – Head of Household – Standard Deduction $18,000

10%

0 to $13,600

12%

$13,600 to $51,800

22%

$51,800 to $82,500

24%

$82,500 to $157,500

32%

$157,500 to $200,000

35%

$200,000 to $500,000

37%

Over $500,000

2018 Tax Rates – Estates & Trusts

10%

0 to $2,550

24%

$2,550 to $9,150

35%

$9,150 to $12,500

37%

Over $12,500

 

 

Social Security

2018 Tax Rates

Social Security Tax Rate: Employers

6.2%

Social Security Tax Rate: Employees

6.2%

Social Security Tax Rate: Self-Employed

15.3%

Maximum Taxable Earnings

$128,400

Medicare Base Salary

Unlimited

Medicare Tax Rate: Employers

1.45%

Medicare Tax Rate: Employees

1.45%

Additional Medicare Tax for income above $200,000 (single filers) or $250,000 (joint filers)

0.9%

Medicare tax on net investment income ($200,000 single filers, $250,000 joint filers)

3.8%

 

Miscellaneous

2018 Tax Rates

Business expensing limit: Cap on equipment purchases

$2,500,000

Business expensing limit: New and Used Equipment and Software

$1,000,000

Prior-year safe harbor for estimated taxes of higher-income

110% of your 2018 tax liability

Standard mileage rate for business driving

54.5 cents

Standard mileage rate for medical driving

18 cents

Standard mileage rate for moving driving – Members of the Armed Forces on active duty who move because of a permanent change of station

18 cents

Standard mileage rate for charitable driving

14 cents

Child Tax Credit

$2,000

Unearned income maximum for children under 19 before kiddie tax applies

$1,050

Maximum capital gains tax rate for taxpayers with income up to $38,600 for single filers, $77,200 for married filing jointly

0%

Maximum capital gains tax rate for taxpayers with income above $38,600 for single filers, $77,200 for married filing jointly

15%

Maximum capital gains tax rate for taxpayers with income above $425,800 for single filers, $479,000 for married filing jointly

20%

Capital gains tax rate for unrecaptured Sec. 1250 gains

25%

Capital gains tax rate on collectibles

28%

Maximum contribution for Traditional/Roth IRA

$5,500 if under age 50
$6,500 if 50 or older

Maximum employee contribution to SIMPLE IRA

$12,500 if under age 50
$15,500 if 50 or older

Maximum Contribution to SEP IRA

25% of eligible compensation
up to $55,000

401(k) maximum employee contribution limit

$18,500 if under age 50
$24,500 if 50 or older

Estate tax exemption

$11,180,000

Annual Exclusion for Gifts

$15,000

 

Education

2018 Tax Rates

American Opportunity Credit (Hope)

$2,500

Lifetime Learning Credit

$2,000

Student Loan Interest Deduction

$2,500

Coverdell Education Savings Contribution

$2,000

Source: IRS

 

 

Standard Meal Rates for Family Child Care Providers for 2018 income tax returns

Continental U.S.

2018-19 Tax Rates

For each breakfast

$1.31

For each lunch or supper

$2.46

For each snack (up to 3 per day for each child)

$0.73

Alaska

2018-19 Tax Rates

For each breakfast

$2.09

For each lunch or supper

$3.99

For each snack (up to 3 per day for each child)

$1.19

Hawaii

2018-19 Tax Rates

For each breakfast

$1.53

For each lunch or supper

$2.88

For each snack (up to 3 per day for each child)

$0.86

Source: Federal Register

 

Find IRS Tax Forms. Enter keywords here:

View or Print State Tax Forms here.

The publications listed below are located on the IRS Web site and require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Visit the Adobe Web Site to install the latest version of Acrobat Reader.

Click a publication to view it online.

Publication 1   Your Rights As a Taxpayer
Publication 3 Armed Forces’ Tax Guide
Publication 15 Circular E, Employer’s Tax Guide
Publication 15A Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide
Publication 15B Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits
Publication 17 Your Federal Income Tax
Publication 51 Circular A, Agricultural Employer’s Tax Guide
Publication 54 Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad
Publication 80 Circular SS – Federal Tax Guide for Employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Publication 225 Farmer’s Tax Guide
Publication 334   Tax Guide for Small Business
Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses
Publication 501 Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information
Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses
Publication 503 Child and Dependent Care Expenses
Publication 504 Divorced or Separated Individuals
Publication 505 Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
Publication 509 Tax Calendars
Publication 510 Excise Taxes (Including Fuel Tax Credits and Refunds)
Publication 514 Foreign Tax Credit for Individuals
Publication 515 Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Corporations
Publication 516 U.S. Government Civilian Employees Stationed Abroad
Publication 517 Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy & Religious Workers
Publication 519 U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
Publication 521 Moving Expenses
Publication 523 Selling Your Home
Publication 524 Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled
Publication 525 Taxable and Nontaxable Income
Publication 526 Charitable Contributions
Publication 527 Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes)
Publication 529 Miscellaneous Deductions
Publication 530 Tax Information for First-Time Homeowners
Publication 531 Reporting Tip Income
Publication 535 Business Expenses
Publication 536 Net Operating Losses
Publication 537 Installment Sales
Publication 538 Accounting Periods and Methods
Publication 541 Partnerships
Publication 542 Corporations
Publication 544 Sales and other Dispositions of Assets
Publication 547 Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts
Publication 550 Investment Income and Expenses (Including Capital Gains and Losses and Mutual fund Distributions)
Publication 554 Tax Guide for Seniors
Publication 555 Community Property
Publication 556 Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund
Publication 557 Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization
Publication 559 Survivors, Executors and Administrators
Publication 560Retirement Plans for Small Business
Publication 570   Tax Guide for Individuals With Income from U.S. Possessions
Publication 571 Tax-Sheltered Annuity Programs for Employees of Public Schools and Certain Tax-Exempt Organizations
Publication 575 Pension and Annuity Income
Publication 583 Starting a Business and Keeping Records
Publication 587 Business Use of Your Home (Including Use by Day-Care Providers)
Publication 590-A Contributions to Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
Publication 590-B Distributions to Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
Publication 595 Capital Construction Fund for Commercial Fishermen
Publication 596 Earned Income Credit
Publication 598 Tax on Unrelated Business Income of Exempt Organizations
Publication 721 Tax Guide to U.S. Civil Service Retirement Benefits
Publication 901 U.S. Tax Treaties
Publication 907 Tax Highlights for Persons With Disabilities
Form 911 Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance
Publication 915Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits
Publication 925 Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules
Publication 926 Household Employers Tax Guide
Publication 929 Tax Rules for Children and Dependents
Publication 936 Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
Publication 939 General Rule for Pensions and Annuities
Publication 946 How to Depreciate Property
Publication 957 Reporting Back Pay and Special Wage Payments to the Social Security Administration
Form 8839 Qualified Adoption Expenses
Publication 969 Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans
Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education
Publication 1212 Guide to Original Issue Discount (OID) Instruments
Publication 1345 Handbook for Authorized IRS e-file Providers of Individual Income Tax Returns
Publication 1544 Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000
Publication 4557 Safeguarding Taxpayer Data – A Guide for Your Business

Storing tax records: How long is long enough?

Federal law requires you to maintain copies of your tax returns and supporting documents for three years. This is called the “three-year law” and leads many people to believe they’re safe provided they retain their documents for this period of time.

However, if the IRS believes you have significantly underreported your income (by 25 percent or more), or believes there may be indication of fraud, it may go back six years in an audit. To be safe, use the following guidelines.

Business Records To Keep…Personal Records To Keep…
        1 Year        1 Year
        3 Years        3 Years
        6 Years        6 Years
        Forever        Forever
  
Special Circumstances

Create a Backup Set of Records and Store Them Electronically. Keeping a backup set of records — including, for example, bank statements, tax returns, insurance policies, etc. — is easier than ever now that many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically, and much financial information is available on the Internet.

Even if the original records are provided only on paper, they can be scanned and converted to a digital format. Once the documents are in electronic form, taxpayers can download them to a backup storage device, such as an external hard drive, or burn them onto a CD or DVD (don’t forget to label it).

You might also consider online backup, which is the only way to ensure that data is fully protected. With online backup, files are stored in another region of the country, so that if a hurricane or other natural disaster occurs, documents remain safe.

 Caution: Identity theft is a serious threat in today’s world, and it is important to take every precaution to avoid it. After it is no longer necessary to retain your tax records, financial statements, or any other documents with your personal information, you should dispose of these records by shredding them and not disposing of them by merely throwing them away in the trash. 

Business Documents To Keep For One Year

  • Correspondence with Customers and Vendors
  • Duplicate Deposit Slips
  • Purchase Orders (other than Purchasing Department copy)
  • Receiving Sheets
  • Requisitions
  • Stenographer’s Notebooks
  • Stockroom Withdrawal Forms

Business Documents To Keep For Three Years

  • Employee Personnel Records (after termination)
  • Employment Applications
  • Expired Insurance Policies
  • General Correspondence
  • Internal Audit Reports
  • Internal Reports
  • Petty Cash Vouchers
  • Physical Inventory Tags
  • Savings Bond Registration Records of Employees
  • Time Cards For Hourly Employees

Business Documents To Keep For Six Years

  • Accident Reports, Claims
  • Accounts Payable Ledgers and Schedules
  • Accounts Receivable Ledgers and Schedules
  • Bank Statements and Reconciliations
  • Cancelled Checks
  • Cancelled Stock and Bond Certificates
  • Employment Tax Records
  • Expense Analysis and Expense Distribution Schedules
  • Expired Contracts, Leases
  • Expired Option Records
  • Inventories of Products, Materials, Supplies
  • Invoices to Customers
  • Notes Receivable Ledgers, Schedules
  • Payroll Records and Summaries, including payment to pensioners
  • Plant Cost Ledgers
  • Purchasing Department Copies of Purchase Orders
  • Sales Records
  • Subsidiary Ledgers
  • Time Books
  • Travel and Entertainment Records
  • Vouchers for Payments to Vendors, Employees, etc.
  • Voucher Register, Schedules

Business Records To Keep Forever

While federal guidelines do not require you to keep tax records “forever,” in many cases there will be other reasons you’ll want to retain these documents indefinitely.

  • Audit Reports from CPAs/Accountants
  • Cancelled Checks for Important Payments (especially tax payments)
  • Cash Books, Charts of Accounts
  • Contracts, Leases Currently in Effect
  • Corporate Documents (incorporation, charter, by-laws, etc.)
  • Documents substantiating fixed asset additions
  • Deeds
  • Depreciation Schedules
  • Financial Statements (Year End)
  • General and Private Ledgers, Year End Trial Balances
  • Insurance Records, Current Accident Reports, Claims, Policies
  • Investment Trade Confirmations
  • IRS Revenue Agents’ Reports
  • Journals
  • Legal Records, Correspondence and Other Important Matters
  • Minute Books of Directors and Stockholders
  • Mortgages, Bills of Sale
  • Property Appraisals by Outside Appraisers
  • Property Records
  • Retirement and Pension Records
  • Tax Returns and Worksheets
  • Trademark and Patent Registrations

Personal Documents To Keep For One Year

  • Bank Statements
  • Paycheck Stubs (reconcile with W-2)
  • Canceled checks
  • Monthly and quarterly mutual fund and retirement contribution statements (reconcile with year end statement)

Personal Documents To Keep For Three Years

  • Credit Card Statements
  • Medical Bills (in case of insurance disputes) 
  • Utility Records
  • Expired Insurance Policies 

Personal Documents To Keep For Six Years

  • Supporting Documents For Tax Returns
  • Accident Reports and Claims
  • Medical Bills (if tax-related)
  • Property Records / Improvement Receipts
  • Sales Receipts
  • Wage Garnishments
  • Other Tax-Related Bills

Personal Records To Keep Forever

  • CPA Audit Reports
  • Legal Records
  • Important Correspondence
  • Income Tax Returns
  • Income Tax Payment Checks
  • Investment Trade Confirmations
  • Retirement and Pension Records

Special Circumstances

  • Car Records (keep until the car is sold)
  • Credit Card Receipts (keep with your credit card statement)
  • Insurance Policies (keep for the life of the policy)
  • Mortgages / Deeds / Leases (keep 6 years beyond the agreement)
  • Pay Stubs (keep until reconciled with your W-2)
  • Property Records / improvement receipts (keep until property sold)
  • Sales Receipts (keep for life of the warranty)
  • Stock and Bond Records (keep for 6 years beyond selling)
  • Warranties and Instructions (keep for the life of the product)
  • Other Bills (keep until payment is verified on the next bill)
  • Depreciation Schedules and Other Capital Asset Records (keep for 3 years after the tax life of the asset)

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