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Tax Records

You should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return. Your annual tax record file should contain the following:

  • All yearend tax statements.
  • One copy each of your federal and state tax returns.
  • One copy of Form 8843 Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With A Medical Condition.
  • Any correspondence with IRS or state tax authority.
  • Other receipts or documents you used to prepare your tax return.

Keep copies of your tax return and yearend tax statements in a safe place for at least 3 years. You may need them in the future for a tax audit or when applying for additional U.S. visas or changes in your immigration status. If you might apply for permanent residency or US citizenship, keep your tax records for 7 years.

For information on how to request a copy of your tax return from the IRS, click here.

Other Documents

Other tax-related and financial documents you should keep on file:

  • Monthly statements from financial institutions, including processed checks (cancelled or imaged).
  • Pay statements listing your gross employment income and deductions such as taxes withheld. Statement is either attached to your check or mailed if you have direct deposit.
  • Receipts or proof of payment from financial transactions such as:
    • Rent
    • Utility bills
    • Insurance
    • Telephone
    • Textbooks and school supplies (for those with a scholarship)
    • Credit card and other receipts
    • Invoices
  • Contracts – e. g., apartment lease; employment contract; bank, loan or credit card contract.

For complete information on recordkeeping, refer to IRS Publication 552 - Recordkeeping for Individuals at: www.irs.gov.


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