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Retention Schedule

Before destroying any records, it is advisable to confer with your CPA or tax advisor.
The retention schedule is intended as a general guideline only.

  • Accident reports/claims (settled cases) = 7 years

  • Accounts payable: invoices, ledgers, and schedules = 4 years

  • Actuarial reports = Permanently

  • Articles of incorporation = Permanently

  • Audit reports = Permanently

  • Bank reconciliations = 4 years

  • Bank statements = 4 years

  • Bills of lading = 3 years

  • Budgets - projections = 2 years

  • Bylaws = Permanently

  • Capital stock and bond records: ledgers, transfer registers, stubs coupons, options... = Permanently

  • Cash books = Permanently

  • Chart of accounts = Permanently

  • Checks (canceled - see exception below) = 4 years

  • Checks (canceled for important payments, i.e. taxes, purchases of property, special contracts, etc. Checks should be filed with the papers pertaining to the underlying transaction) = Permanently

  • Contracts, mortgages, notes and leases (expired) = 4 years

  • Copyrights/trademarks = Permanently

  • Correspondence (general) = 2 years

  • Correspondence (legal and important matters only) = Permanently

  • Correspondence (routine) with customers and/or vendors = 2 years

  • Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale = Permanently

  • Depreciation schedules = Permanently

  • Directives - exclusive = Permanently

  • Duplicate deposit slips = 2 years

  • Employee expense records = 3 years

  • Employment applications = 2 years

  • Expense analysis/expense distribution schedules = 4 years

  • Expense reports = 4 years

  • Financial statements (year end) = Permanently

  • Freight bills = 3 years

  • Garnishments = 7 years

  • General/private ledgers, year-end trial balance = Permanently

  • IRS determination/ approval letters = Permanently

  • Insurance policies (expired) = 3 years

  • Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies, etc. = Permanently

  • Internal audit reports (longer retention periods may be desirable) = 3 years

  • Internal reports (miscellaneous) = 3 years

  • Inventories of products, materials and supplies = 4 years

  • Invoices for property = Permanently

  • Journals - all types = Permanently

  • Minute books of directors, stockholders, bylaws, and charter = Permanently

  • Notes receivable ledgers and schedules = 4 years

  • Note register = Permanently

  • Option records (expired) = 7 years

  • Patents and related papers = Permanently

  • Payroll records and summaries = 7 years

  • Pension/profit sharing plan/ trust documents = Permanently

  • Personnel files (terminated) = 7 years

  • Petty cash vouchers = 3 years

  • Plant cost ledgers = 4 years

  • Procedure records = Permanently

  • Property appraisals by outside appraisers = Permanently

  • Property records, including costs, depreciation reserves, year-end trial balances, depreciation schedules, blueprints, and plans = Permanently

  • Purchase invoices = 4 years

  • Purchase orders (except purchasing department copy) = 1 year

  • Purchase orders (purchasing department copy) = 4 years

  • Receiving sheets = 1 year

  • Retirement and pension records = Permanently

  • Requisitions = 1 year

  • Sales Commission reports = 3 years

  • Sales invoices = 4 years

  • Sales records = 4 years

  • Scrap and salvage records (inventories, sales, etc.) = 4 years

  • Stenographers’ notebooks = 1 year

  • Stockroom withdrawal forms = 1 year

  • Subsidiary ledgers = 4 years

  • System records = 4 years

  • Tax returns and worksheets, revenue agents’ reports, and other documents relating to determination of income tax liability = Permanently

  • Time books/cards = 7 years

  • Trademark registrations and copyrights = Permanently

  • Training manuals = Permanently

  • Union agreements = Permanently

  • Voucher register and schedules = 4 years

  • Vouchers for payments to vendors, employees, etc. (includes allowances and reimbursements) = 4 years

  • Withholding tax statements = 7 years

Before destroying any records, it is advisable to confer with your CPA or tax advisor. The retention schedule is intended as a general guideline only.

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