KPM

RECORDS RETENTION SCHEDULE

Your Reference Guide

Tax and accounting records should be accurate and accessible if you ever need them. But do they have a shelf life? Some do, but others should be kept indefinitely. Here are our general recommendations for how long you should retain important records.

Retention Guidelines*

  • Accounts Payable – 7 Years
  • Accounts Receivable – 7 Years
  • Depreciation Schedules – 7 Years
  • Expense Records (Receipts & Invoices) – 7 Years
  • Financial Statements (Annual) – Permanent
  • General Ledger – 7 Years
  • Inventory Records – 7 Years (Permanent for LIFO System)
  • Loan Payment Schedules – 7 Years
  • Purchase Orders (1 Copy) – 7 Years
  • Sales/Revenue Records – 7 Years
  • Bank Reconciliations – 3 Years
  • Bank Statements – 7 Years
  • Canceled Checks – 7 Years (Permanent for Real Estate Purchases)
  • Electronic Payment Records – 7 Years
  • Board Minutes – Permanent
  • Bylaws – Permanent
  • Business Licenses – Permanent
  • Contracts (Major ) – Permanent
  • Contracts (Minor) – Life + 4 Years
  • Insurance Policies – Life + 3 Years (Check with Your Agent – Liability for Prior Years Can Vary)
  • Leases/Mortgages – Permanent
  • Patents/Trademarks – Permanent
  • Shareholder Records – Permanent
  • Stock Registers – Permanent
  • Stock Transactions – Permanent
  • Benefit Plans – Permanent
  • Employee Files (Ex-Employees) – 7 Years (Or Statute of Limitations for Employee Lawsuits)
  • Employment Applications – 3 Years
  • Employment Taxes – 7 Years
  • Payroll Records – 7 Years
  • Pension/Profit Sharing Plans – Permanent
  • Real Estate Purchases/Escrow Documents – Permanent
  • Construction Records – Permanent
  • Leasehold Improvements – Permanent
  • Home Improvement Records – Permanent
  • Lease Payment Records – Life + 4 Years
  • Federal & State Returns – Permanent
  • IRS & State Tax Audit Reports – Permanent
  • Tax-Related Correspondence – Permanent

*These are general guidelines. If you have questions about destroying tax or accounting records, please contact a KPM professional.

Need more clarification?

Send us your records retention questions, and we’ll track down the answers.

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