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Record Retention Checklist

Organizing a multitude of business and personal files is never easy, but this task can be more manageable if you know how long each records should be kept. Refer to this list for guidance, but make sure to keep current on requirements for your specific industry.

Also be alert for changes in IRS regulations and wage and hour laws. And when in doubt, keeping a record a little longer is always better!

ACCOUNTING RECORDS

Duplicate checks & deposit slips

3 years

Bank statements

5 years

Bank reconciliations

5 years

Canceled checks (see exception*)

5 years

Voucher registers & schedules

7 years

Vouchers for payments to vendors, employees, etc.

7 years

Accounts receivable ledgers & schedules

10 years

Payroll records

Permanently

Payroll tax returns

Permanently

Audit reports

Permanently

General ledgers & journals

Permanently

Financial statements

Permanently

Accounts payable ledgers & schedules

Permanently

Canceled checks for important payments such as taxes, property purchases, special contracts

Permanently
CORPORATE RECORDS

Notes & leases (expired)

3 years

Contracts (expired)

7 years

Mortgages & bills of sale

Permanently

Deeds, easements & titles

Permanently

Bylaws, charger & minute books

Permanently

Capital stock & bond records

Permanently

Depreciation schedules

Permanently

Pension & profit-sharing information

Permanently

Tax returns & any attachments

Permanently

Minutes of stockholder & director meetings

Permanently
INSURANCE

Policies (current)

Permanently

Policies (expired)

5 years

Accident reports

7 years

Claims (after settlement)

7 years

PERSONNEL

Contracts (expired)

3 years

Daily time reports

3 years

Disability & sick benefits records

3 years

Employment applications

Permanently

Personnel files (terminated)

Permanently

PURCHASING & SALES

Purchase orders

7 years

Requisitions

7 years

Sales contracts

7 years

Sales invoices

7 years

TRAFFIC & INVENTORY

Export declarations

3 years

Freight bills

3 years

Shipping & receiving reports

3 years

Waybills & bills of lading

3 years

Inventories of products

7 years

Materials & supplies

7 years

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE
 All 3 years
PERSONAL RECORDS

Birth certificates

Permanently

Marriage & divorce records

Permanently

Adoption/custody agreements

Permanently

Proof of naturalization if foreign born

Permanently

Investment records

Permanently

IRA or Keogh documents

Permanently

Pension papers

Permanently

Insurance policies

Permanently

Contracts

Permanently

Individual tax returns

Permanently