David R. Cedrone, CPA, M.S. Taxation, CGMA

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General Records Retention Guidelines

The topic of records retention often raises questions. Here are some general guidelines:

Keep Permanently: 
  • Canceled checks for important payments
  • Current contracts & leases
  • Correspondence on legal and other important matters
  • Deeds
  • Mortgages & Bills of Sale
  • Insurance records, current accident reports, policies, claims
  • Property appraisals by outside appraisers
  • Property records
  • Tax returns & worksheets, revenue agents' reports and other documents relating to determination of income tax liability


Keep 7 years:
  • Canceled checks
  • Expired contracts & leases
  • Payroll records & Summaries

Keep 3 years:

  • General correspondence
  • Expired insurance contracts unless a claim is open for more than 3 years


Keep 1 year:

  • Bank reconciliations & statements (unless needed to support a claim or action > than 1 year)
  • Correspondence with vendors
  • Duplicate deposit slips

This is just a partial list, and should be used for informational purposes only.
When in doubt about any particular item, you should consult a qualified professional knowledgable in the field
related to the items in question (lawyer, CPA, etc.).

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