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How Long to Keep Records?

Different records are required to keep for different length of time. Below are guidelines of how long to keep records including business records, tax records, financial records, medical records and other types of records. How long to keep records list below is a general guideline only. The number of years records should be kept by law may be different from suggested length of time to keep records. In general, if the records are of important transactions, even if you are not required by law to keep them, you should still keep them anyway. For specific information of how long specific records should be kept, consult your attorney.

Accident reports and Injury claims (worker's compensation)

11 years

Accounts payable ledgers and schedules

7 years

Accounts receivable ledgers and schedules

7 years

Age Work Certification Records for Minors

3 years after termination

Application (non hires)

1 year

Attendance Records

4 years

Bank reconciliation

1 year

Cancelled Checks *

7 years

COBRA records

3 years

Contracts and leases (expired)

7 years

Contracts and leases still in effect

Indefinitely

Employee Benefit Plans

2 years after end of plan

Employment advertisements

3 years

ERISA Retirement and Pension Records

Indefinitely

Financial Statements (end of year)

Indefinitely

Financial Statements (other months, not end of year)

optional

Insurance policies (expired)

3 years

Invoices to customers

7 years

Invoices to vendors

7 years

Paychecks

8 years

Payroll records including name, address, social security number, wage rate, number of hours, worked daily, weekly gross wages, deductions, allowances, claimed net wages

6 years

Personal File Records including application, pre employment tests, performance appraisals, rate and position changes, transfers, promotions, demotions, documentation disciplinary actions, and job descriptions

6 years after termination

Petty Cash Vouchers

3 years

Purchase orders (purchasing department copy)

7 years

Receiving sheets

1 year

Sales Records

7 years

Tax returns and worksheets

Indefinitely

Material Data Safety Sheets (MSDS) or some identification of substance used or found

Duration of employment plus 30 years

Records pertaining to unfair discriminatory employment practices and Americans with Disabilities Act

Until final disposition of action

Tips, meals, gross receipts and other supplemental payroll records

2 years

* Cancelled checks for important payments such as taxes, purchases of properties, special contracts, should be kept indefinitely. Checks should be filed with the papers pertaining the transaction. This

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