Your Record Retention Questions Answered
By: Rachel Raupp
Keeping files for your business is a necessity. The papers stack up fast and seem
to form mountains around you. Although you need this information on file and sometimes at hand, it’s normal to catch yourself wondering when you’re allowed to pitch everything. If you’re ever unsure whether to save or shred, save. Don’t shred unless you’re absolutely positive you don’t need it anymore. Here are some basic guidelines for specific documents you possess. Remember, these are for businesses. Your personal documents have different guidelines.
After three years, you may shred employee records of those who were terminated or left the company.
Employee earnings records may be wiped out four years after they leave the company, for whatever reason. Employment tax records may be shredded four years after the tax is paid or was due. Any travel or entertainment records, including receipts, mileage records, or other travel and entertainment records follow the same time span.
Business property records should be kept for a minimum of seven years after the property is sold, traded, or disposed. This includes anything that explains the costs and deductions of the property. This is an IRS guideline.
Check Your State’s Laws
If there is an unclaimed paycheck or other property, you must check your state laws. The same goes for sales tax returns.