skip navigation

Search Help
Navigation Help

Tax Map Index

Tax Topic Index

Affordable Care Act
Tax Topic Index

Tax Topics

About Tax Map Website
Publication 530

Keeping Records(p12)

For Use in Tax Year 2014
Where Refund
Keeping full and accurate records is vital to properly report your income and expenses, to support your deductions and credits, and to know the basis or adjusted basis of your home. These records include your purchase contract and settlement papers if you bought the property, or other objective evidence if you acquired it by gift, inheritance, or similar means. You should keep any receipts, canceled checks, and similar evidence for improvements or other additions to the basis. In addition, you should keep track of any decreases to the basis such as those listed in Table 3, earlier.

How to keep records.(p12)

For Use in Tax Year 2014
How you keep records is up to you, but they must be clear and accurate and must be available to the IRS.

How long to keep records.(p12)

For Use in Tax Year 2014
You must keep your records for as long as they are important for meeting any provision of the federal tax law.
Keep records that support an item of income, a deduction, or a credit appearing on a return until the period of limitations for the return runs out. (A period of limitations is the period of time after which no legal action can be brought.) For assessment of tax you owe, this is generally 3 years from the date you filed the return. For filing a claim for credit or refund, this is generally 3 years from the date you filed the original return, or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Returns filed before the due date are treated as filed on the due date.
You may need to keep records relating to the basis of property (discussed earlier) for longer than the period of limitations. Keep those records as long as they are important in figuring the basis of the original or replacement property. Generally, this means for as long as you own the property and, after you dispose of it, for the period of limitations that applies to you.
PencilTable 4. Record of Home Improvements
Keep this for your records. Also, keep receipts or other proof of improvements.
caution Remove from this record any improvements that are no longer part of your main home. For example, if you put wall-to-wall carpeting in your home and later replace it with new wall-to-wall carpeting, remove the cost of the first carpeting.
Type of Improvement
Type of Improvement
Additions:   Heating & Air
Bedroom   Heating system  
Bathroom   Central air conditioning  
Deck   Furnace  
Garage   Duct work  
Porch   Central humidifier  
Patio   Filtration system  
Storage shed   Other  
Fireplace   Electrical:  
Lawn & Grounds:   Lighting fixtures  
   Wiring upgrades  
Landscaping    Other  
Driveway   Plumbing:  
Fences   Water heater  
Retaining wall   Soft water system  
Sprinkler system   Filtration system  
Swimming pool   Other  
Exterior lighting   Insulation:  
Communications:   Attic  
Satellite dish   Floors  
Intercom   Pipes and duct work  
Security system   Other  
Miscellaneous:   Interior
Storm windows and doors   Built-in appliances  
Roof   Kitchen modernization  
Central vacuum   Bathroom modernization  
Other   Flooring  
    Wall-to-wall carpeting