Records Retention Schedule (by type)

This Record Retention Schedule is intended to provide general guidelines only.  It is presented with the understanding that it is not to be used without competent professional advice. 
 See schedule sorted by life  
Sorted by Type:
Accounting Records:
Accounts Payable 7 Years
Accounts Receivable 7 Years
Audit Reports Indefinitely
Cash Books Indefinitely
Chart of Accounts Indefinitely
Depreciation Schedules Indefinitely
Expense Records (including T & E records) 7 Years
Financial Statements (annual) Indefinitely
Fixed Asset Purchases 7 years after disposition
General Ledger and subsidiary journals Indefinitely
Inventory Records 7 Years (Indefinitely for LIFO system)
Loan Payment Schedules 7 Years
Purchase Orders 7 Years
Tax Returns Indefinitely
Tax audit reports Indefinitely
 
Bank Records:
Bank Statements and deposit slips 7 Years
Canceled Checks 7 Years (Indefinitely for Real Estate Purchases)
Loan Records 7 Years (From the date of last payment)
Electronic Payment Records 7 Years
  
Corporate/Entity Records:
Board Minutes Indefinitely
Bylaws Indefinitely
Business Licenses Indefinitely
Contracts – Major Indefinitely
Contracts – Minor 4 Years after expiration
Insurance Policies 3 Years after expiration
Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies, etc. Indefinitely
Leases / Mortgages Indefinitely
Correspondence (legal & important matters only) Indefinitely
Patents / Trademarks Indefinitely
Shareholder Records Indefinitely
Stock Registers Indefinitely
Stock Transactions Indefinitely
 
Employee Records:
Benefit Plans Indefinitely
Employee Files (ex-employees) 7 Years / Employee lawsuits statute of limitations
Employment Applications 3 Years
Employment Taxes 7 Years
Payroll Records 7 Years
Pension / Profit Sharing Plans Indefinitely
 
Real Property Records:
Construction Records (Including costs & blue prints and plans) Indefinitely
Leasehold Improvements Indefinitely
Lease Payment Records 4 Years after expiration
Real Estate Purchases Indefinitely
Deeds, Mortgages, Bills of Sale Indefinitely
Property Appraisals by Outside Appraisers Indefinitely
  
Sorted by Life:
3 to 4 years
Employment Applications
Insurance Policies after expiration
Contracts – Minor after expiration
Lease Payment Records after expiration
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7 years
Accounts Payable
Accounts Receivable
Bank Statements and deposit slips
Canceled Checks Indefinitely for Real Estate Purchases
Electronic Payment Records
Employee Files (ex-employees) Employee lawsuits statute of limitations
Employment Taxes
Expense Records (including T & E records)
Fixed Asset Purchases after disposition
Inventory Records Indefinitely for LIFO system
Loan Payment Schedules
Loan Records From the date of last payment
Payroll Records
Purchase Orders
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Indefinitely
Audit Reports
Benefit Plans
Board Minutes
Business Licenses
Bylaws
Cash Books
Chart of Accounts
Construction Records (Including costs & blue prints and plans)
Contracts – Major
Correspondence (legal & important matters only)
Deeds, Mortgages, Bills of Sale
Depreciation Schedules
Financial Statements (annual)
General Ledger and subsidiary journals
Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies, etc.
Leasehold Improvements
Leases / Mortgages
Patents / Trademarks
Pension / Profit Sharing Plans
Property Appraisals by Outside Appraisers
Real Estate Purchases
Shareholder Records
Stock Registers
Stock Transactions
Tax audit reports
Tax Returns
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