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You may be one of those people who tends to squirrel away important documents forever.  But this may actually be a security risk since documents like tax returns have a lot of personal and financial information that you wouldn't want to get into the wrong hands.  You may be surprised to learn that the experts claim you can hold onto these documents for a much shorter period of time than once thought.  

Most experts agree that three years is long enough to hold onto your federal and state income tax returns and related receipts.  This includes the proof of your income and the deductions taken on these returns.  It's advised that you shred and discard returns older than that. 

To be on the safe side, some experts say that you should hold onto returns and associated documentation for six to seven years, especially if you had any unusual transactions such as the sale or donation of property or income from stock options, trusts, claim for deducting worthless securities, etc.