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Publication 552

for Individuals



This publication discusses why you should keep records, what kinds of records you should keep, and how long you should keep them.
You probably already keep records in your daily routine. This includes keeping receipts for purchases and recording information in your checkbook. Use this publication to determine if you need to keep additional information in your records.
Throughout this publication we refer you to other IRS publications for additional information. See How To Get Tax Help in the back of this publication for information about getting publications and forms.
This publication does not discuss the records you should keep when operating a business. For information on business records, see Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records.

Comments and suggestions.(p1)

We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:

Internal Revenue Service 
Individual Forms and Publications Branch 
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 
Washington, DC 20224

We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
You can email us at * (The asterisk must be included in the address.) Please put "Publications Comment" on the subject line. You can also send us comments from Select "Comment on Tax Forms and Publications" under "Information about."
Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
Ordering forms and publications.(p1)
Visit to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address on page 2 and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.

Internal Revenue Service 
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway 
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613

Tax questions.(p2)
If you have a tax question, check the information available on or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to the previous addresses.

Why Keep Records?(p2)

There are many reasons to keep records. In addition to tax purposes, you may need to keep records for insurance purposes or for getting a loan. Good records will help you: