Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public...

Tax questions

March 12, 1998

Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April Q: I would like to know how long I should keep my records for income taxes. I'm cleaning things out and I want to be sure not to throw away dates that I need.

A: Generally, the Internal Revenue Service must contact you proposing (assessing) a change in your return within three years from the due date of the return, including any applicable extensions. Therefore, for 1994 returns timely filed by April 15, 1995, the three-year assessment period expires April 15, 1998. Support for 1994 income and expenses contained in this return and any prior year's return, which were timely filed, may be discarded. The Internal Revenue Service can extend the three-year statute to six years if there is a substantial understatement of gross income. Support for basis of assets, such as homes, stocks, bonds, etc., should be maintained in a permanent file until three years after it is sold.

Keith Huebel, Levin, Zwagil & Block, P.A., Baltimore. The above advice is for general purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting or tax advice. Specific situations may vary.

To ask a tax question, call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800. Call 268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County, 848-0338 in Carroll County. Using a Touch-Tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6225 after the greeting. You can also submit questions by e-mail through The Sun's Web site:

Selected questions will be answered in the Business section. No questions will be answered personally.

Pub Date: 3/12/98

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