Record Retention Guidelines

We are frequently asked "How long should we retain our records?"

Normally, business and personal records need to be maintained until after the expiration of the statute of limitations for a tax year. The current Federal statute is three years from the due date of the tax return. If you file your return late the statute is two years after the return is filed if that date is later. California adds one additional year to the Federal statute of limitations. Accordingly, we recommend maintaining bulk records for a period of five years after the end of a given year.

Of course, some records really don't need to be maintained for more that a year or so, others for an extended period of time and yet others should be maintained permanently. Use common sense.

dotItems for potential permanent retention include:

dotItems for potential extended retention include :

dotItems for five year retention:

dotItems for which shorter retention is appropriate:

REMEMBER! Use common sense in record retention.

If you need additional information about record retention matters please contact us at (310) 258-0520 or by E-mail.

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© 1996 Roscoe & Swanson, Accountancy Corporation. All rights reserved.

Last revised: September 20, 1999