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Federal law requires you to keep copies of your tax returns and supporting documents for three years, but there are situations where retaining documents longer is advisable. For example, if you underreport your income, you may need documents as far as 6 years back. If fraud is suspected, there is no period of limitation. We have provided some record retention guidelines below that may be helpful.


Keep These Business Records for 1 Year                       

  • Vendor Correspondence
  • Customer Correspondence
  • Receiving Sheets
  • Requisitions
  • Duplicate Deposit Slips


Keep These Business Records for 3 Years

  • Employment Applications
  • Expired Insurance Policies
  • Petty Cash Vouchers
  • General Correspondence


Keep These Business Records for 6 Years

  • Customer invoices
  • Cancelled Checks
  • Bank Statements and Reconciliations
  • Employment Tax Records
  • Inventory Reports
  • Accounts Payable and Receivable Ledgers & Schedules
  • Cancelled Tax Payment Checks
  • Cash Books, Charts of Accounts, & General and Private Ledgers
  • Payroll Records
  • Terminated Personnel Records
  • Employee Time Cards
  • Entertainment & Travel-Related Records
  • Purchase Orders
  • Sales Records
  • Payment Vouchers


Keep These Business Records For 6 Years From End Date              

  • Contracts
  • Leases
  • Insurance Documents – Policies, Accident Reports, & Claim Documents
  • Deeds & Property Records
  • Fixed Asset Addition Documents
  • Retirement & Pension Records
  • Depreciation Schedules
  • Investment Trade Documents
  • Year-End Financial Statements
  • Legal Records
  • Corporate Documents
  • Trademark and Patent Registrations
  • Tax Returns & Worksheets
  • Audit Reports


Note: EZ Accounting has provided this record retention list for our client’s convenience. The list is not all-inclusive of documents you may be required to provide. Facts and circumstances differ from business to business, so when in doubt, err on the side of retaining documentation.


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