DOCUMENT RETENTION LIST

Document retention can be crucial during the time that you are doing your taxes. So in order to help, we will provide a compact guide on how long your documents need to remain in your possession by years.

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1 YEAR

Personal

It is important to keep year-end mutual fund and IRA contribution statements forever, but it is not mandatory to save monthly and quarterly statements once the year-end statement has arrived.

Business

  • Bank Statements

  • Correspondence with Customers and Vendors

  • Duplicate Deposit Slips

  • Purchase Orders (other than Purchasing Department copy)

  • Receiving Sheets

  • Requisitions

  • Stockroom Withdrawal Forms

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3 YEARS

Personal

  • Credit Card Statements

  • Medical Bills (in case of insurance disputes)

  • Utility Records

  • Expired Insurance Policies

Business

  • Employee Personnel Records (after termination)

  • Employment Applications

  • Expired Insurance Policies

  • General Correspondence

  • Internal Audit Reports

  • Internal Reports

  • Petty Cash Vouchers

  • Physical Inventory Tags

  • Savings Bond Registration Records of Employees

  • Time Cards For Hourly Employees

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6 YEARS

Personal

  • Employee Personnel Records (after termination)

  • Employment Applications

  • Expired Insurance Policies

  • General Correspondence

  • Internal Audit Reports

  • Internal Reports

  • Petty Cash Vouchers

  • Physical Inventory Tags

  • Savings Bond Registration Records of Employees

  • Time Cards For Hourly Employees

Business

  • Accident Reports, Claims

  • Accounts Payable Ledgers and Schedules

  • Accounts Receivable Ledgers and Schedules

  • Bank Statements and Reconciliations

  • Cancelled Checks

  • Cancelled Stock and Bond Certificates

  • Employment Tax Records

  • Expense Analysis and Expense Distribution Schedules

  • Expired Contracts, Leases

  • Expired Option Records

  • Inventories of Products, Materials, Supplies

  • Invoices to Customers

  • Notes Receivable Ledgers, Schedules

  • Payroll Records and Summaries, including payment to pensioners

  • Plant Cost Ledgers

  • Purchasing Department Copies of Purchase Orders

  • Records related to net operating losses (NOL's)

  • Sales Records

  • Subsidiary Ledgers

  • Time Books

  • Travel and Entertainment Records

  • Vouchers for Payments to Vendors, Employees, etc.

  • Voucher Register, Schedules

 

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 indefinitely.

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FOREVER

Personal

  • CPA Audit Reports

  • Legal Records

  • Important Correspondence

  • Income Tax Returns

  • Income Tax Payment Checks

  • Property Records / Improvement Receipts (or six years after property sold)

  • Investment Trade Confirmations

  • Retirement and Pension Records (Forms 5448, 1099-R and 8606 until all distributions are made from your IRA or other qualified plan)

Business

  • Audit Reports from CPAs/Accountants

  • Cancelled Checks for Important Payments (especially tax payments)

  • Cash Books, Charts of Accounts

  • 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 Agent Reports

  • Journals

  • Legal Records, Correspondence and Other Important Matters

  • Minutes Books of Directors and Stockholders

  • Mortgages, Bills of Sale

  • Property Appraisals by Outside Appraisers

  • Property Records

  • Retirement and Pension Records

  • Tax Returns and Worksheets

  • Trademark and Patent Registrations

Laptop and Paperwork

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

  • Car Records (keep until the car is sold)

  • Child Tax Credit

  • Credit Card Receipts (keep until verified on your statement)

  • Insurance Policies (keep for the life of the policy)

  • Mortgages / Deeds / Leases (keep 6 years beyond the agreement)

  • Pay Stubs (keep until reconciled with your W-2)

  • Sales Receipts (keep for life of the warranty)

  • Stimulus Checks

  • Stock and Bond Records (keep for 6 years beyond selling)

  • Warranties and Instructions (keep for the life of the product)

  • Other Bills (keep until payment is verified on the next bill)

  • Depreciation Schedules and Other Capital Asset Records (keep for 3 years after the tax life of the asset)