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Record Retention Guide: Tips for 2020

January 16, 2020

A clean desk in the New Year is helpful, but make sure you are holding on to certain records for the required amount of years.

Looking to clean up your files as a fresh start to 2020? There are various rules for individuals and businesses on how long you should hold on to your sales receipts, income tax returns, credit card statements, medical bills etc. Be sure you’re aware of what you should be holding on to before you go ahead and throw things away.

What should I keep?

For individuals:

  • Credit card statements should be kept until verified on your monthly statement + one month (4 years if you’re self-employed)
  • Copies of income tax returns should be kept permanently.
  • Pay stubs should be kept until reconciled with your W-2
  • You should keep sales receipts for the life of the warranty, and the warranty should be kept for the life of the product.
  • Wills and other legal records should be kept permanently.

For businesses:

  • Deeds and mortgages should be kept permanently.
  • Cancelled checks should be kept for 7 years; HOWEVER if they’re for important payments like tax payments or land purchases—keep those forever.
  • Internal audit reports should be held onto for 4 years.
  • Retain time cards for hourly employees for 4 years

Download our Record Retention Guide for more information on what businesses and individuals should be keeping or throwing away this year.

Questions? Contact us.

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