Records Retention

Business Documents to Keep for Three Years

  • Employee Personnel Records (following termination)
  • Employment Applications
  • Expired Insurance Policies
  • General Correspondence
  • Internal Audit Reports
  • Time Cards for Hourly Employees

Business Documents to Keep for 6 Years

  • Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable Records
  • Bank Statements and Reconciliations
  • Cancelled Stock and Bond Certificates
  • Employment Tax Records
  • Expense Analysis and Expense Distribution Schedules
  • Expired Contracts, Leases
  • Inventories of Products, Materials, Supplies
  • Invoices to Customers
  • Notes Receivable Ledgers, Schedules
  • Payroll Records and Summaries, including payment to pensioners
  • Sales Records
  • Travel and Entertainment Records
  • Payments to Vendors, Employees, etc.

Business Records to Keep “Forever”

While Federal guidelines do not require you to keep tax records “forever,” in many cases there will be other reasons you’ll want to retain these documents until the property, asset, contracts are sold or expired and have been reported on appropriate taxes.

  • Audit Reports from CPAs/Accountants
  • Contracts, Leases Currently in Effect
  • Corporate Documents (incorporation, charter, by-laws, etc.)
  • Documents substantiating fixed asset additions
  • Deeds
  • Depreciation Schedules
  • Financial Statements (Year-End)
  • General and Private Ledgers, Year-End Trial Balances
  • Insurance Records, Current Accident Reports, Claims, Policies
  • Investment Trade Confirmations
  • IRS Revenue Agents’ Reports
  • Legal Records, Correspondence and Other Important Matters
  • Minute Books of Directors and Stockholders
  • Mortgages, Bills of Sale
  • Property Appraisals by Outside Appraisers
  • Property Records
  • Retirement and Pension Records
  • Tax Returns and Worksheets

Personal Documents to Keep For One Year

  • Paycheck Stubs (reconcile with W-2)
  • Monthly and quarterly mutual fund and retirement contribution statements (reconcile with year-end statement)

Personal Documents to Keep for Seven Years

  • Income Tax Returns and Supporting Documents for Tax Returns
  • Medical Bills (if tax-related)
  • Wage Garnishments
  • Other Tax-Related Bills

Personal Records to Keep Forever

  • CPA Audit Reports
  • Property Records / Improvement Receipts (or until property is sold and reported on tax return)
  • Retirement and Pension Records

Non-Tax Related Records

  • Car Records (keep until the car is sold)
  • Credit Card Receipts (keep with your credit card statement)
  • Insurance Policies (keep for the life of the policy)
  • Mortgages / Deeds / Leases (keep 6 years beyond the agreement)
  • Property Records / improvement receipts (keep until property sold)
  • Stock and Bond Records, Investment Trade Confirmations (keep for 6 years beyond selling)