Business Record Retention Guidline

 

ACCOUNTING RECORDS

AUDITOR’S REPORT & ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS ~ Permanently

BANK STATEMENTS ~ 7 years

CASH DISBURSEMENTS JOURNAL ~ Permanently

CASH RECEIPTS JOURNAL ~ Permanently

DEEDS, MORTGAGES, BILLS OF SALE ~ 2 years

EMPLOYEE EXPENSE RECORDS ~ 7 years

FIXED ASSET RECORDS (invoices, canceled checks, depreciation schedules) ~ Permanently

GENERAL JOURNAL ~ Permanently

GENERAL LEDGER ~ Permanently

PATENT/TRADEMARK AND RELATED PAPERS ~ Permanently

PAYROLL JOURNAL ~ 7 years

PETTY CASH VOUCHERS ~ 7 years

PURCHASE ORDERS ~ 7 years

SALES COMMISSION REPORTS ~ 3 years

TIME CARDS AND DAILY TIME REPORTS ~ 7 years

TRIAL BALANCE – YEAR END ~ Permanently

VOUCHERS FOR PAYMENTS TO VENDORS, EMPLOYEES, ETC. ~ 7 years

 

LEGAL DOCUMENTS

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION AND BYLAWS ~ Permanently

BUY-SELL AGREEMENTS ~ Permanently

CAPITOL STOCK AND BOND RECORDS: LEDGERS, TRANSFER REGISTERS, STUBS SHOWING OPTIONS, ETC. ~ Permanently

CONTRACTS AND LEASES (still in effect) ~ Permanently

CONTRACTS AND LEASES (expired) ~ 7 years

EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS ~ 7 years

LEGAL CORRESPONDENCE ~ Permanently

MINUTES ~ Permanently

OPTION RECORDS (expired) ~ 7 years

PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS ~ Permanently

PROPERTY APPRAISALS BY OUTSIDE APPRAISERS ~ Permanently

STOCK CERTIFICATES AND LEDGERS ~ Permanently

 

TAX RECORDS

IRS OR STATE ADJUSTMENTS ~ Permanently

PAYROLL TAX RETURNS ~ 7 years

PROPERTY RECORDS, INCLUDING COSTS, DEPRECIATION RESERVES, YEAR-END TRIAL BALANCES, DEPRECIATION SCHEDULES, BLUEPRINTS AND PLANS ~ Permanently

SALES AND USE TAX RETURNS ~ Permanently

TAX RETURNS AND WORK SHEETS, REVENUE AGENTS’ REPORTS, AND OTHER DOCUMENTS RELATING TO DETERMINATION OF INCOME TAX LIABILITY, CANCELED CHECKS FOR TAX PAYMENTS ~ Permanently

 

EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN RECORDS

ACTUARIAL REPORTS ~ Permanently

ALLOCATION AND COMPLIANCE TESTING ~ 7 years

BROKERAGE/ TRUSTEE STATEMENTS SUPPORTING INVESTMENTS ~ 7 years

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS ~ Permanently

GENERAL LEDGER AND JOURNALS ~ Permanently

INFORMATION RETURNS (form 5500) ~ Permanently

PLAN AND TRUST AGREEMENTS ~ Permanently

 

* These Record Retention Guidelines provide a general guideline for the retention of many records, but the specific holding periods for any record retention policy should be given careful scrutiny by management and legal advisers in light of any pending investigations, regulated industry requirements or contract covenants.  In addition to these general guidelines, each business should consider any industry standards which may affect the holding period of records due to the unusual legal circumstances.