Record Retention Guidelines

This information is provided courtesy of GoLearnNetwork’s Accountants: 

Junco & Kierzynski CPA 
(813) 291-9090

Business Accounting RecordsRetention Period
Account Payable7 years
Account Receivable7 years
Audit ReportsPermanent
Chart of AccountsPermanent
Depreciation SchedulesPermanent
Expense Records7 years
Financial Statements (Annual)Permanent
Fixed Asset PurchasesPermanent
General LedgerPermanent
Inventory Records7 years (a)
Loan Payment Schedules7 years
Purchase Orders7 years
Sales Records7 years
Tax ReturnsPermanent

Bank Records Retention Period
Bank Reconciliations2 years
Bank Statements7 years
Cancelled Checks7 years (b)
Electronic Payment Records7 years

Corporate Records Retention Period
Board Minutes Permanent
Business LicensesPermanent
Contacts- MajorPermanent
Contracts-MinorLife + 4 years
Insurance PoliciesLife + 3 years [c]
Shareholder RecordsPermanent
Stock RegistersPermanent
Stock TransactionsPermanent

Employee Records Retention Period
Benefit PlansPermanent
Employee Files/Ex-Employees7 years (d)
Employment Applications3 years
Employment TaxesPermanent
Payroll RecordsPermanent
Pension/Profit Sharing PlanPermanent

Real Property Records Retention Period
Construction RecordsPermanent
Leasehold ImprovementsPermanent
Lease Payment RecordsLife + 4 years
Real Estate PurchasesPermanent

Individual RecordRetention Period
Tax Returns-Uncomplicated7 years
Tax Returns-All OthersPermanent
W-2sPermanent (e)
1099’s7 years
Cancelled Checks Supporting Deductions7 years
Bank Deposit Slips7 years
Bank Statements7 years
Charitable Contribution Documentation7 years
Credit Card Statements7 years
Receipts & Logs Pertaining to Tax Returns7 years
Investment Purchase & Sales SlipOwnership + 7 years
Dividend Reinvestment RecordsOwnership + 7 years
Year-End Brokerage Statements *** See BelowOwnership + 7 years
Mutual Fund Annual StatementsOwnership + 7 years
Investment Property Purchase DocumentsOwnership + 7 years
Home Purchase DocumentsOwnership + 7 years
Home Improvement Receipts & Cancelled ChecksOwnership + 7 years
Retirement Plan Annual ReportsPermanent
IRA Annual ReportsPermanent
IRA Nondeductible Contributions Form 8606Permanent
Insurance PoliciesLife + 3 years [c]
Divorce DocumentsPermanent
LoansTerm + 7 years
Estate Planning DocumentsPermanent

  • Permanent for LIFO SYSTEMS
  • Permanent for real estate transactions
  • Check with your agent- periods may vary
  • Permanent for employee lawsuits
  • In case needed to verify employment

*** All records for loss carry forwards from brokerage transactions must be kept for carry forward period + 7 years.

Please Note: These are general guidelines only.  When in doubt keep permanent records.  Tax returns can generally be audited for up to three years after filing and up to six years if the IRS suspects under reported income.  There is NO statute of limitations if the IRS suspects fraud or you never filed a return.  It is wise to keep tax records at least seven years after a return is filed.  Requirements for records kept electronically are the same as for paper records.

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