General Tax Information
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RECORD RETENTION GUIDELINES

The following chart provides 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 advisors 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 that may affect the holding period of records due to unusual legal circumstances.

Accounting Records

Tax Records

Auditors' report and annual financial statements

Permanently

IRS or FTB adjustments

Permanently

Bank statements and deposit slips

7 years

Payroll tax returns

Permanently

Cancelled checks:

Property basis records

Permanently

  Fixed assets

Permanently

Sales and use tax returns

Permanently

  General

7 years

Tax returns and cancelled checks for tax payments

Permanently

  Payroll

7 years

  Taxes (payroll related)

7 years

Personnel Records

  Taxes (income)

Permanently

Child labor certificates and notices

3 years

Cash disbursements journal

Permanently

Employment application (from date of termination)

2 years

Cash receipts journal

Permanently

Employment eligibility verification (I-9 Form)

3 years

Charts of accounts

Permanently

Help wanted ads and job opening notices

2 years

Deeds, mortgages, bills of sale

Permanently

Personnel files (from date of termination)

4 years

Electronic payment records

7 years

Records of job injuries causing loss of work

5 years

Employee expense reports

7 years

Safety: chemical and toxic exposure records

30 years

Fixed asset records (invoices, depreciation schedules)

Permanently

Union agreements and individual employee contracts (from date of termination)

3 years

Freight bills and bills of lading

7 years

General journal

Permanently

Employee Benefit Plan Records

General ledger

Permanently

Actuarial reports

Permanently

Inventory listings and tags

7 years

Allocation and compliance testing

6 years

Invoices: Sales to customers/credit memos

7 years

Brokerage/Trustee statements supporting investments

6 years

Patent/Trademark and related papers

Permanently

Financial statements

Permanently

Payroll journal

Permanently

General ledger and journals

6 years

Production and sales reports

7 years

Information returns (Form 5500)

6 years

Purchases

7 years

IRS/Department of Labor correspondence

Permanently

Purchase journal

Permanently

Participant communications related to distributions, terminations, beneficiaries

6 years

Purchase orders

7 years

Plan and Trust Agreements

Sales or work orders

7 years

Subsidiary ledgers (accounts receivables, accounts payable, equipment)

7 years

Individual Records

Time cards and daily time reports

7 years

Tax Returns (after filing)

6 years

Training manuals

Permanently

Medical Bills (after payment)

6 years

Trial balance - year end

Permanently

Forms 1099 received (after receipt)

6 years

Keogh statements (after plan termination)

6 years

Insurance Records

IRA records (after account termination)

6 years

Accident reports and claims (after settlement)

6 years

Loan records (after payoff)

6 years

Fire inspection and safety reports

7 years

Insurance policies (after expiration)

6 years

Insurance policies (after expiration)

7 years

Major purchase receipts (after purchase)

6 years

Year-end brokerage statements (after securities deposit)

6 years

Legal Documents

Certificate of deposit statements (after maturity)

6 years

Articles of incorporation and bylaws

Permanently

Schedule K-1s (after disposition of interest)

6 years

Amendments to above

Permanently

Buy-sell agreements

Permanently

Individual Permanent Records

Contracts and leases (after expiration)

7 years

House records (cancelled checks for major improvements and maintenance)

Employment agreements

7 years

Birth and death certificates

Legal correspondence

Permanently

Medical records

Minutes

Permanently

Wills/Trust Agreements

Partnership agreements

Permanently

W-2 Forms received

Stock Certificates

Permanently

List of Financial assets held

Alimony, custody, & prenuptial agreements

Military papers

Photos or videotape of valuables

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