How Long To Keep Paperwork and Records for Taxes For Business

Updated: January 2017. Checked and verified by a California based CPA, Kentucky based CPA, and California based estate planner.

Need Record Retention Periods for Personal?

personal record retention taxesRECOMMENDED RECORD RETENTION PERIODS FOR BUSINESS RECORDS

In Retention Period Order

Permanent Records

  • Appropriate ledger and related end of year trial balances
  • Cancelled checks for payment of taxes, purchase of property, and in payment of important contracts should be retained permanently with the papers in these files
  • Capital stock and bond records:
  • Ledgers, transfer registers, stubs showing issues and record of interest coupons Cash books (receipts and disbursement journals)
  • Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale, contracts and leases in effect
  • Depreciation schedules
  • Employment taxes (records and returns, including withholding statements)
  • Financial statements – Year end (others optional)
  • General and private ledgers, and related end of year trial balances Insurance records (existing)
  • Minute books of directors and stockholders, by-laws
  • Patents and related papers
  • Property appraisals by outside appraisers
  • Property ledgers – including costs, depreciation reserves and end of year trial balances Tax returns and worksheets, Revenue Agent’s reports and other documents relating to determination of tax liability Trade mark registrations

One Year

  • Correspondence of unimportant nature with customers or vendors
  • Purchase orders (except purchasing department copies)
  • Receiving sheets
  • Requisitions
  • Stenographers’ note books Stockroom withdrawal forms

Three Years

  • Employment applications
  • General correspondence
  • Internal audit reports, including working papers
  • Miscellaneous internal reports
  • Petty cash vouchers
  • Physical inventory tags

Four Years

  • Insurance policies which have expired

Seven Years

  • Accident reports
  • Accounts receivable ledgers and related trial balances
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Bank statements
  • Canceled checks (see exception under permanent records) Contracts and leases expired
  • Duplicate deposit slips
  • Expense analyses and expense distribution schedules
  • Garnishments
  • Inventory summaries of product, materials and supplies
  • Invoices to customers and from vendors
  • Journal vouchers
  • Notes receivable ledgers and related trial balances
  • Payroll records and summaries, including payments to pensioners
  • Personnel files (terminated)
  • Purchase orders (purchasing department copies)
  • Sales records
  • Scrap salvage records
  • Inventories, sales, etc.
  • Subsidiary ledgers to the general ledger and related trial balances
  • Time books
  • Voucher register and related trial balances

RECOMMENDED RECORD RETENTION PERIODS FOR BUSINESS RECORDS

In Alphabetical Order

Accident reports

Seven Years

Accounts receivable ledgers and related trial balances

Seven Years

Appropriate ledger and related end of year trial balances

Permanent

Bank reconciliations

Seven Years

Bank statements

Seven Years

Canceled checks (see exception under permanent records)

Seven Years

Canceled checks for payment of taxes, purchase of property, and in payment of important contracts should be retained permanently with the papers in these files

Permanent

Capital stock and bond records:
Ledgers, transfer registers, stubs showing issues and record of interest coupons

Permanent

Cash books (receipts and disbursement journals)

Permanent

Contracts and leases expired

Seven Years

Correspondence of unimportant nature with customers or vendors

One Year

Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale, contracts and leases in effect

Permanent

Depreciation schedules

Permanent

Duplicate deposit slips

Seven Years

Employment applications

Three Years

Employment taxes (records and returns, including withholding statements)

Permanent

Expense analyses and expense distribution schedules

Seven Years

Financial statements – Year end (others optional)

Permanent

Garnishments

Seven Years

General and private ledgers, and related end of year trial balances

Permanent

General correspondence

Three Years

Insurance policies which have expired

Four Years

Insurance records (existing)

Permanent

Internal audit reports, including working papers

Three Years

Inventory summaries of product, materials and supplies

Seven Years

Invoices to customers and from vendors

Seven Years

Journal vouchers

Seven Years

Miscellaneous internal reports

Three Years

Minute books of directors and stockholders, by-laws

Permanent

Notes receivable ledgers and related trial balances

Seven Years

Patents and related papers

Permanent

Payroll records and summaries, including payments to pensioners

Seven Years

Personnel files (terminated)

Seven Years

Petty cash vouchers

Three Years

Physical inventory tags

Three Years

Property appraisals by outside appraisers

Permanent

Property ledgers – including costs, depreciation reserves and end of year trial balances

Permanent

Purchase orders (except purchasing department copies)

One Year

Purchase orders (purchasing department copies)

Seven Years

Receiving sheets

One Year

Requisitions

One Year

Sales records

Seven Years

Scrap salvage records – Inventories, sales, etc.

Seven Years

Stenographers’ note books

One Year

Stockroom withdrawal forms

One Year

Subsidiary ledgers to the general ledger and related trial balances

Seven Years

Tax returns and worksheets, Revenue Agent’s reports and other documents relating to determination of tax liability

Permanent

Time books

Seven Years

Trademark registrations

Permanent

Voucher register and related trial balances

Seven Years

Small business financial statements can be convoluted, but are easy to manage and organize with the guide above.

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