Records Retention Timeline
Records Retention for Business
Businesses must maintain documents and records so that an accounting of business activities may be performed. Whether for an audit, tax return, or for strategic planning, companies must gather, summarize and analyze facts and figures to support financial documents. After the financial statements are issued and tax returns filed, the question remains how long do you retain your records? View Lumsden McCormick's Records Retention Timeline for guidance.
Records Retention for Individuals
You should generally keep records supporting items claimed on your individual tax return until the statute of limitations runs out. Typically, that is three years from the due date of the return or the date you filed, whichever is later. This is because the IRS can audit your returns for a minimum of three years after you file. You can also file an amended return on IRS Form 1040X during this time period if you missed a deduction, overlooked a credit or misreported income. While keeping records for three years is the general rule, there are exceptions for certain records. Read more about the suggested time to keep your records.