Bank Records Retention Period  
Bank reconciliations 7 years  
Bank statements 7 years  
Cancelled checks 7 years *2  
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  
Tax returns can generally be audited for up to three years after the filing and up to six years if the IRS suspects under reported income. It is wise to keep tax records at least seven years after a return is filed. Records kept electronically are the same as paper.
Corporate Records Retention Period  
Leases/mortgages Permanent  
Patents/trademarks Permanent  
Shareholder records Permanent  
Stock registers Permanent  
Stack Transactions Permanent  
Real Property Records Retention Period  
Construction records Permanent  
Leasehold improvements Permanent  
Lease payment records Life + 4 years  
Real estate purchase Permanent  
Employee Records Retention Period  
Benefits plan Permanent  
Employee files ex-employees 7 years *4  
Employee applications 3 years  
Employee taxes 7 years  
Payroll records 7 years  
Pension/profit sharing plans Permanent  
Corporate Records Retention Period  
Tax returns 7 years  
Tax returns Permanent  
W-2’s 7 years  
1099’s 7 years  
Cancelled checks 7 years  
Bank deposit slips 7 years  
Individual Records Retention Period  
Bank statements 7 years  
Charitable contribution documentation 7 years  
Credit card statements 7 years  
Receipts & logs pertaining to tax returns 7 years  
Investment purchase and sales slips Ownership + 7 years  
Dividend reinvestment records Ownership + 7 years  
Year-end brokerage statements Ownership + 7 years  
Mutual fund annual statements Ownership + 7 years  
Investment property purchase documents Ownership + 7 years  
Home purchase documents Ownership + 7 years  
Home improvement receipts and canceled checks Ownership + 7 years  
Home repair receipts and cancelled checks Warranty period for item  
Retirement plan annual reports Permanent  
IRA annual reports Permanent  
IRA nondeductible contributions Form 8608 Permanent  
Insurance policies Life if policy + 3 years *3  
Divorce documents Permanent  
Loans Term of loan + 7 years  
Estate planning documents Permanent  
1 Permanent for last-in-first-out system    
2 Permanent for real estate purchases    
3 Check with your agent. Liability for prior years can vary.  
4 Or statute of limitations for employee lawsuits