Guide to Records to Retain

Business Documents to Keep for one year

–         Duplicate deposit slips

Business Documents to Keep for three years

–         Bank statements and reconciliations
–         Employee personnel records
–         Employment applications
–         Petty cash vouchers
–         Time cards for hourly employees

Business Documents to Keep for six years

–         Accident reports and claims
–         Accounts payable ledgers and schedules
–         Accounts receivable ledgers and schedules
–         Employment tax records
–         Expired contracts and leases
–         Inventory records
–         Invoices to customers
–         Payroll records and summaries
–         Sales records
–         Travel and entertainment records
–         Vouchers for payments to vendors and employees

Business Documents to Keep forever

–         Cancelled checks for important payments, especially tax payments
–         Cash books, charts of accounts
–         Contracts and leases currently in effect
–         Corporate documents including incorporation papers and bylaws
–         Documents substantiating fixed asset additions
–         Deeds
–         Depreciation schedules
–         Financial statements (year end)
–         General ledgers and year end trial balance
–         Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies
–         IRS Revenue Agents’ reports
–         Legal records
–         Minutes books of Directors and Shareholders
–         Mortgages, bills of sale
–         Property appraisals by outside appraisers
–         Property records
–         Retirement and pension records
–         Tax returns and worksheets
–         Trademark and patent registrations

Personal Documents to Keep for One Year

–         Bank statements
–         Paycheck stubs, after reconciling with your W-2
–         Cancelled checks
–         Monthly and quarterly mutual fund and retirement contribution statements

Personal Documents to Keep for Three Years

–         Credit card statements
–         Medical bills, in case of insurance disputes
–         Utility records

Personal Documents to Keep for Six Years

–         Supporting documents for tax returns
–         Accident reports and claims
–         Medical bills if tax-related
–         Property records, improvement receipts
–         Sales receipts
–         Other tax-related bills

Personal Documents to Keep forever

–         Legal records
–         Important correspondence
–         Income tax returns
–         Income tax payment checks
–         Investment trade confirmations
–         Retirement and pension records

Other circumstances

–         Car records, keep until car is sold
–         Credit card receipts, until verified on your statement
–         Insurance policies, for the life of the policy
–         Mortgages, deeds and leases, keep for 6 years beyond the agreement
–         Pay stubs, until reconciled with your W-2
–         Sales receipts, keep for life of the warranty
–         Warranties and instructions, for the life of the product
–         Other bills, keep until payment is verified on the next bill
–         Depreciation scheduless, keep for 3 years after life of asset