Back to top

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Business News

Wall Street ends higher despite government shutdown threat

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Friday, led by gains in consumer stocks, even as a possible government shutdown loomed. ...

ADM pursues big ag merger with grain trader Bunge: source

CHICAGO/CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Top U.S. grain merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co has proposed a takeover of Bunge Ltd , according to a person familiar with the approach, which could set up a...

Possible Buffett heir Abel has small Berkshire stake, likely to grow

(Reuters) - Greg Abel, considered by many investors the top contender to succeed Warren Buffett as Berkshire Hathaway Inc's chief executive officer, on Friday reported owning about $2.1 million of...

SoFi in talks with top Twitter exec about CEO position: WSJ

(Reuters) - Social Finance Inc (SoFi) is in discussions with Anthony Noto, a top Twitter Inc executive, to become the online lender's chief executive, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday,...

FTC makes second request on Broadcom's bid for Qualcomm

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has made a second request for information on chipmaker Broadcom Ltd's $103 billion hostile bid for Qualcomm Inc, Broadcom said in a statement on Friday...

Twitter to notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during U.S. elections

(Reuters) - Twitter Inc , which is reviewing Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. elections, said on Friday it would notify some of its users whether they were exposed to content generated by ...

Judge overseeing AT&T, Time Warner merger trial hears document dispute

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T, owner of DirecTV, is asking for documents from a long list of companies as part of preparation for a trial to determine if they will be allowed to buy movie and TV ...

Venezuela's woes poised to hit U.S. oilfield service firms' earnings

HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. oilfield service companies exposed to Venezuela face new hits to earnings from the South American nation's ongoing economic turmoil and U.S. sanctions on the country and st...

Parent company of 7-Eleven agrees to divest some U.S. stores in Sunoco deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd , the Tokyo-based parent company of the 7-Eleven network of stores, agreed to sell and divest some of its stores in its proposed $3.3 billion ac...

Deutsche Telekom expects steady dividend hikes: paper

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom will keep to its promise of hiking dividends in 2018 and the years thereafter, its Chief Financial Officer Thomas Dannenfeldt told German daily Boersen-Zeitu...

Retention Guide

Storing tax records: How long is long enough?

April 15 has come and gone and another year of tax forms and shoeboxes full of receipts is behind us. But what should be done with those documents after your check or refund request is in the mail?

Federal law requires you to maintain copies of your tax returns and supporting documents for three years. This is called the "three-year law" and leads many people to believe they're safe provided they retain their documents for this period of time.

However, if the IRS believes you have significantly underreported your income (by 25 percent or more), it may go back six years in an audit. If there is any indication of fraud, or you do not file a return, no period of limitation exists.To be safe, use the following guidelines.

Business Records To Keep... Personal Records To Keep...
1 Year 1 Year
3 Years 3 Years
6 Years 6 Years
Forever Forever
Special Circumstances

Business Documents To 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 To Keep For Three Years

  • 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 To Keep For Six Years

  • 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 Records To Keep Forever

While federal guidelines do not require you to keep tax records "forever," in many cases there will be other reasons you'll want to retain these documents indefinitely.

  • Audit Reports from CPAs/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 Agent 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 To Keep For One Year

While it's important to keep year-end mutual fund and IRA contribution statements forever, you don't have to save monthly and quarterly statements once the year-end statement has arrived.

Personal Documents To Keep For Three Years

  • Credit Card Statements
  • Medical Bills (in case of insurance disputes)
  • Utility Records
  • Expired Insurance Policies

Personal Documents To Keep For Six Years

  • Supporting Documents For Tax Returns
  • Accident Reports and Claims
  • Medical Bills (if tax-related)
  • Sales Receipts
  • Wage Garnishments
  • Other Tax-Related Bills

Personal Records To Keep Forever

  • CPA Audit Reports
  • Legal Records
  • Important Correspondence
  • Income Tax Returns
  • Income Tax Payment Checks
  • Property Records / Improvement Receipts (or six years after property sold)
  • Investment Trade Confirmations
  • Retirement and Pension Records (Forms 5448, 1099-R and 8606 until all distributions are made from your IRA or other qualified plan)

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 / 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)