COLMAR, Pa. (CBS) – Now that your taxes have been filed, chances are you are surrounded by paper. How long should you keep all of these items and when is it safe to throw some of that paper out? A local CPA helps you sort all of that out.

Harry McWilliams of Granite Financial in Colmar think carefully before you head to the recycle bin.

“The IRS rule is technically three years that you need to hold onto your return and accompanying paperwork, but keep in mind there are different provisions that could extend that on you,” he said. “And the IRS throws us the curveball of saying that you have to keep the records as long as they might need them.”

So how do you keep the clutter down?

“A great way to do that is if you have a CPA do your taxes request an electronic copy and keep in multiple places, that way it’s not a lot of clutter in the house but it’s there should you need it. ”

He says to keep anything officially marked tax document — W-2, 1099’s and documents supporting deductions, canceled checks, stock paperwork — keep for least 7 years.

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE