Too many people make the mistake of trashing their tax paperwork right after they file their taxes. They take the time to organize everything in order to complete their taxes online or with a personal accountant, so that they can file on time and, hopefully, get a refund. But then as soon as they’re done, they throw everything away.

Don’t do that. The IRS recommends everyone hang on to their tax paperwork – filing docs, W2s, 1095s, etc. – for at least seven years. There are two major reasons to hang on to everything.

First, you may be audited. There is a very low likelihood that you will be audited in any one year. Many people will never be audited throughout their entire lives. But should you find yourself in this position, you will need to have all your paperwork to share with IRS agents.

Second, your tax situation can change. And the IRS gives you up to 7 years to amend your filing. Learn more about saving your tax paperwork here.

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