Retention Guide

Keep Your Old Tax Documents Safe

When it comes to your taxes, it's very important to maintain comprehensive records. Even though it might feel as though you have no use for all your old tax documents, keeping old information can prove invaluable in the event of reviews and audits.

Get in touch with Arnold A. Kahara Ltd Certified Public Accountants today!

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Since 1983, we have been working hard to make sure you meet all your tax obligations, one day at a time.

Business Documents - Keep for One Year

  • Correspondence with customers and vendors
  • Duplicate deposit slips
  • Purchase orders - other than purchasing department copy
  • Receiving sheets
  • Requisitions
  • Stenographer's notebooks
  • Stockroom withdrawal forms

Business Documents - Keep for Three Years

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  • Employee personnel records - after termination
  • Employment applications
  • Expired insurance policies
  • General correspondence
  • Internal audit reports
  • Internal reports
  • Petty cash vouchers
  • Physical inventory tags
  • Savings bond registration records of employees
  • Time cards for hourly employees

Business Documents - Keep for Six Years

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  • Accident reports, claims
  • Accounts payable ledgers and schedules
  • Accounts receivable ledgers and schedules
  • Bank statements and reconciliations
  • Cancelled checks
  • Cancelled stock and bond certificates
  • Employment tax records
  • Expense analysis and expense distribution schedules
  • Expired contracts, leases
  • Expired option records
  • Inventories of products, materials, supplies
  • Invoices to customers
  • Notes receivable ledgers, schedules
  • Payroll records and summaries, including payment to pensioners
  • Plant cost ledgers
  • Purchasing department copies of purchase orders
  • Sales records
  • Subsidiary ledgers
  • Time books
  • Travel and entertainment records
  • Vouchers for payments to vendors, employees, etc.
  • Voucher register, schedules

Business Documents - Keep Forever

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  • Audit reports from CPAs and accountants
  • Cancelled checks for important payments - especially tax payments
  • Cash books, charts of accounts
  • Contracts, leases currently in effect
  • Corporate documents - incorporation, charter, by-laws, etc.
  • Documents substantiating fixed asset additions
  • Deeds
  • Depreciation schedules
  • Financial statements - year end
  • General and private ledgers, year-end trial balances
  • Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies
  • Investment trade confirmations
  • IRS revenue agents
  • Reports
  • Journals
  • Legal records, correspondence and other important matters
  • Minutes books of directors and stockholders
  • Mortgages, bills of sale
  • Property appraisals by outside appraisers
  • Property records
  • Retirement and pension records
  • Tax returns and worksheets
  • Trademark and patent registrations

Personal Documents - Keep for Three Years

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  • Credit card statements
  • Medical bills - in case of insurance disputes
  • Utility records
  • Expired insurance policies

Personal Documents - Keep for Six Years

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  • Supporting documents for tax returns
  • Accident reports and claims
  • Medical bills - if tax-related
  • Sales receipts
  • Wage records
  • Garnishments
  • Other tax-related bills

Personal Documents - Keep Forever

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  • CPA audit reports
  • Legal records
  • Important correspondence
  • Income tax returns
  • Income tax payment checks
  • Property records and improvement receipts - or six years after property sold
  • Investment trade confirmations
  • Retirement and pension records

Personal Documents - Special Circumstances

  • Car records - keep until the car is sold
  • Credit card receipts - keep until verified on your statement
  • Insurance policies - keep for the life of the policy
  • Mortgages, deeds, and leases - keep 6 years beyond the agreement
  • Pay stubs - keep until reconciled with your w-2
  • Sales receipts - keep for life of the warranty
  • Stock and bond records - keep for 6 years beyond selling
  • Warranties and instructions - keep for the life of the product
  • Other bills - keep until payment is verified on the next bill
  • Depreciation schedules and other capital asset records - keep for 3 years after the tax life of the asset