Retention Guide

In our paperless society, the question of how long to hold on to important paper documents has been questionable for most people. Financial documents or other items of Personal Identifying are first to come to mind. You don't want anything with financial or personal information to get into the wrong hands but how long do you need to keep other important documents?

You do need to save certain documentation for financial and estate planning purposes and organize these documents for accessibility. Some documents you will keep until you pass. While sometimes it seems easier to hang on to everything, the clutter might make it difficult to locate important papers when the need arises. And, even with digital documents, you can still run out of space.

Read the guidelines below to help determine which documents to keep for six years.

Business Documents To Keep For Six Years

  • Accident Reports, Claims
  • Accounts Payable Ledgers and Schedules
  • Accounts Receivable Ledgers and Schedules
  • Bank Statements and Reconciliations
  • Canceled Checks
  • Canceled Stock and Bond Certificates
  • Employment Tax Records
  • Expense Analysis and Expense Distribution Schedules
  • Expired Contracts, Leases
  • Expired Option Records
  • Inventories of Products, Materials, Supplies
  • Invoices to Customers
  • Notes Receivable Ledgers, Schedules
  • Payroll Records and Summaries, including payment to pensioners
  • Plant Cost Ledgers
  • Purchasing Department Copies of Purchase Orders
  • Sales Records
  • Subsidiary Ledgers
  • Time Books
  • Travel and Entertainment Records
  • Vouchers for Payments to Vendors, Employees, etc.
  • Voucher Register, Schedules

Personal Documents To Keep For Six Years

  • Supporting Documents For Tax Returns
  • Accident Reports and Claims
  • Medical Bills (if tax-related)
  • Sales Receipts
  • Wage Garnishments
  • Other Tax-Related Bills