3501 Tully Road Suite B • Modesto CA 95356
(209) 526-3091 • (209) 526-2287

Record Retention

How long should I keep digital or paper documents?

This information is provided as a general guideline only. If you have questions about destroying any tax or accounting records, please feel free to contact our firm.

When it comes to keeping records, there are two kinds of people: Those who save everything - forever. And those who throw it all away or delete at the earliest possible moment (or even before). The same is oftentimes true for businesses and not-for-profit organizations. They save too little or too much, for too long or not long enough.

JUMP TO:

AccountingBankingCorporateEmployee/EmployerReal PropertyTax Returns

ACCOUNTING RECORDS – RETENTION PERIOD

Accounts Payable – 7 Years
Accounts Receivable – 7 years
Depreciation Schedules – 7
Years Expense Records (Receipts and invoices) – 7
Years Financial Statements (annual) – Permanent
General Ledger – 7 Years
Inventory Records – 7 Years (Permanent for LIFO System)
Loan Payment Schedules – 7 Years
Purchase Orders (1 copy) – 7 Years
Sales/Revenue Records – 7 Years

BANK RECORDS – RETENTION PERIOD

Bank Reconciliations – 3 Years
Bank Statements – 7 Years
Cancelled Checks – 7 Years (Permanent for real estate purchases)
Electronic Payment Records – 7 Years

CORPORATE RECORDS – RETENTION PERIOD

Board Minutes – Permanent
Bylaws – Permanent
Business Licenses – Permanent
Contracts – Major – Permanent
Contracts – Minor – Life + 4 Years
Insurance Policies – Life + 3 Years (Check with your agent. Liability for prior years can vary.)
Leases/Mortgages – Permanent
Patents/Trademarks – Permanent
Shareholder Records – Permanent
Stock Registers – Permanent
Stock Transactions – Permanent

EMPLOYEE RECORDS – RETENTION PERIOD

Benefit Plans – Permanent
Employee Files (ex‐employees) – 7 Years (or statute of limitations for employee lawsuits)
Employment Applications – 3 Years
Employment Taxes – 7 Years
Payroll Records – 7 Years
Pension/Profit Sharing Plans – Permanent

REAL PROPERTY RECORDS – RETENTION PERIOD

Real Estate Purchases (escrow documents) – Permanent
Construction Records – Permanent
Leasehold Improvements – Permanent
Home Improvement Records  Permanent
Lease Payment Records – Life + 4 Years

TAX RETURNS – RETENTION PERIOD

Federal and State Returns – Permanent
IRS and State Tax Audit Reports – Permanent
Tax Related Correspondence – Permanent

JUMP TO:

Accounting • Banking • Corporate • Employee/Employer • Real Property • Tax Returns


Clendenin Bird & Company, PC
3501 Tully Road Suite B • Modesto CA 95356
(209) 526-3091 • (209) 526-2287