Document Retention Schedule

Terms: Resources

Document Retention Schedule

Document Retention: Depending on the the amount of paperwork you have held on to throughout the years at your home office or at work; you may find satisfaction in starting with what you can toss or shred immediately. Then move on to planning your long term and short-term storage areas and file solutions. Files that are one to two years old should be kept more accessible and files that are 3 years or older can be moved into long-term storage.

Document Retention Schedule: Depending on the amount of paperwork you have held on to throughout the years at your home office or at work; you may find satisfaction in starting with what you can toss or shred immediately. Then move on to planning your long-term and short-term storage areas and file solutions. Files that are one to two years old should be kept more accessible and files that are 3 years or older can be moved into long-term storage.

By planning storage needs ahead of time, you’ll be able to easily move your bank statements, tax records, and other business files into the correct bins, file cabinets, and cardboard boxes, depending on the date of the document and the tips below. This is in addition to money savings in storage fee reduction.

Boston shredding service company

Due to the large magnitude of legal requirements, as well as the specific needs of each company, it is advisable to consult legal counsel / CPA before implementing a tailored records retention policy. In addition to these general guidelines, each business should consider any industry standards that may affect the holding period of records due to unusual legal circumstances.

The retention periods below reflect requirements currently in effect. Because record retention periods are constantly changing, it is necessary to evaluate record retention policies and programs periodically.

Accounting Records

Auditors’ report and annual financial statementsPermanent
Bank reconciliations7 years
Bank statements and deposit slips7 years
Budgets2 years
Canceled checks (general, payroll, payroll-related taxes)7 years
Canceled checks (fixed assets and income taxes)Permanent
Cash disbursements journalPermanent
Cash receipts journalPermanent
Correspondence3 years
Currency transactions reports5 years
Dividend checksPermanent
Employee expense records7 years
Fixed assets records (invoices, depreciation schedules)Permanent
Financial statements (annual)Permanent
Freight bills4 years
General ledgers and year-end trail balancesPermanent
Inventory records7 years
Open accounts (MI)6 years
Petty cash vouchers4 years
Production and sales reports7 years
Promissory notes (MI)6-10 years
Purchase journalsPermanent
Purchase orders7 years
Subsidiary ledgers (accounts receivable, accounts payable, etc.)7 years

Administrative and Corporate Records

Annual reports6 years
Articles of incorporation (and any amendments)Permanent
Ballots and proxies6 years
Buy-sell agreementsPermanent
Capitol stock and bond recordsPermanent
Contracts and leases (after expiration)7 years
Copyright and trademark recordsPermanent
Dividend registersPermanent
Government contracts and subcontractsAt least 3 years
Insurance records, policies, etc.Permanent
Legal correspondencePermanent
Liquidation of subsidiaries’ recordsPermanent
Mergers and combinations records (antitrust)Permanent
Mortgages and notes (after expiration)6 years
Oral contracts memorandum (MI)6 years
Patents and patent licenses26 years
Partnership agreementsPermanent
Real estate title documents (MI)15 years
Reorganization recordsPermanent
Securities offer or sales recordsPermanent
Stock certificates and ledgersPermanent
Union (labor) contractsPermanent

Environmental Protection Records

Judicial, administrative, and compliance documentsPermanent
NPDES monitoring records3 years
RCRA generator’s manifests, biennial reports, test results, waste analyses3 years
RCRA land ban documents3 years
Air emissions — renewable operating permit monitoring records5 years
Air emissions — continuous emissions monitoring system records2 years
EPCRA — TRI reports/documents3 years
USTs — sampling, testing, and monitoring records2 years
USTs — tank and piping tightness testing records5 years
USTs — closure records3 years
TSCA — PCB generator manifests3 years
TSCA — PCB spill cleanup records and decontamination certifications5 years
TSCA — Section 8(a) reports, documents, and customer notices/return receipts3 years

Personnel Records

§6047(b) trust or retirement plan contributionUntil distributed
Collective bargaining agreements6 years
Employment application (from date of termination)3 years
Employee files (current employees)Permanent
Employee files (after termination)7 years
Employee manuals/handbooksPermanent
FICA records4 years
FMLA documents3 years
Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification (after the date of hire)3 years
H-1B labor conditions application public access file1 year after expiration
Paychecks, W-2 Forms, W-4 Forms, 1099 Forms7 years
Payroll records7 years
Preparer information3 years
Time cards and daily time reports4 years
Unemployment insurance (MI)6 years
Wage and hour records5 years
Workers’ compensation (MI)2 years

Employee Benefit Plans

Documents filed subject to the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 19595 years
ERISA plan documents6 years
Pension/profit-sharing informational returns (Form 5500)Permanent
Plan and trust agreementsPermanent
IRS approval letterPermanent
Actuarial reportsPermanent

Health and Safety Records

Asbestos monitoring/employee exposure measurementsAt least 30 years
Chemical and toxic exposure recordsAt least 30 years
Employee exposure medical records and workers’ allegations5 years
Occupational injury/illness records5 years
Occupational radiation exposure recordsAuthorized by Dept. of Energy

Tax Records

Business income tax6 years
Cigarette and tobacco tax4 years
Employment security tax4 years
Federal income tax6 years
Financial reports (annual)Permanent
Financial statements4 years
Payroll tax returnsPermanent
Sales and use taxPermanent
Thomas Yu
Thomas Yu
Lowell MA
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I have cumulated a storage room full of documents over the year, I know that the MA laws has change so I know I couldn't dump them in dumpster I called your company on Saturday morning and I was pleasantly surprised that you answered my call and arranged for pick up on Sunday! The driver was nice and the invoice was exactly what I was quoted. Thank you for making my nightmare go away.
John Santos
John Santos
Concord MA
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I am writing to thank George for his help last night, I was lost on my way to your Lowell location to drop of my mom's old records for shredding. George stayed on the phone and past his closing time to help get me to the store and his directions were right on, where else can you find such service these days. I usually dont write to companies but this time, George deserved my time to recognize what he did for an o' lady. Please thank him for me. Your service is top notch!
Jeff Hamzi
Jeff Hamzi
Boston MA
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Holly cow! I was pleasantly surprised that my 10 boxes of documents that I brought to you cost me $100.00, that was quite the savings and I am proud to write this email to your senior management to compliment them on job well done, I hope that your company continues to grow and stay away from the corporate greed that is killing our economy. Your company is doing good for a lot of people like me. I am on limited budget and I was quoted $325 to shred the same documents you charged me $100.00 for. You guys are the best shredding service company in Boston Area. Period.