Time for a quick rant!
Keep a copy of your tax return and the supporting documents for your records. It doesn’t matter if the return is on paper or digital as long as you keep a copy. Somewhere in the future you can shred or delete that copy but for the first few years after filing the return you need to have a copy of your tax return.
If the IRS questions your return, you need to know what you actually filed. The same is true when you amend a return. You can get a copy of the return transcript form the IRS but that will take a little time and they won’t have your notes on how you arrived at the deductions on the return.
I can give you a copy of your missing return if I prepared it. But I won’t have the supporting documents. And what if something happens to me and I can’t give you a copy? You’ll have to settle for a transcript. For taxpayers using one of the online services to prepare their return, did you save a copy of the return to your computer or print a hard copy? Do you have the user name and password safe so you can access your file? If you used a program on your computer, did you save a backup? Please say yes!
It amazes me the number of people I see needing a return amended or a tax notice answered who don’t have a copy of what they filed. When I’ve done the return and know what was filed, they can’t find the copy I gave them with all their documentation. Sorry, but I can’t help you if there is nothing to work from.
And that goes for your state(s) returns too.
End of rant!