Record retention is a commonly asked question for most businesses.

The following table provides the general rules for the retention of most documents.

Type of Record

Retention Period

Accounts receivable/payable ledgers 7 years
Audit reports of accountants Permanently
Capital stock and bond records Permanently
Canceled checks Taxes, property purchases Permanently
Canceled checks General payments 7 years
Chart of accounts Permanently
Contracts and leases Current Permanently
Contracts and leases Expired 7 years
Deeds, mortgages, bills of sale Permanently
Depreciation schedules (Financial) 1 year
Duplicate deposit slips 1 year
Employee personnel records 3 years after termination
Employment tax returns 4 years after tax becomes due or is paid
Other employment records Daily time reports 5 years
Other employment records Disability claims 7 years
Other employment records Unemployment claims 7 years
Other employment records Workers compensation reports 10 years
Expense analyses/distribution schedules 7 years
Financial statements Permanently
General ledgers Permanently
Income tax returns Permanently
Income tax returns Supporting records at least 3 years from the date the tax return was filed
General ledgers Permanently
Incorporation records and certificates Permanently
Insurance polices and related records Current 7 years
Insurance polices and related records Expired 3 years
Internal audit reports 3 years
Inventory records 3 years
Invoices – customers 7 years
Invoices – vendors 7 years
Property/asset records Should be kept for as long as they are needed to
figure the basis of the original or replacement property.
Sales and use tax returns and records 3 years