The following is a collection of finance-related tips that you may find helpful.

How long should records be kept?

Just how long you should keep records is partly a matter of judgement and a combination of state and federal statutes of limitations. Federal returns can be audited for up to three years after filing (six years if underreported income is involved), so all records substaining tax deductions should be kept at least that long.)

Here are recommended retention periods for various records:

Records Retention Period
Cancelled Checks 7 years
Credit card receipts 7 years
Paid invoices 7 years
Bank deposit slips 7 years
Bank statements 7 years
Tax returns (uncomplicated) 7 years
Tax returns (all others) Permanent
Employment tax returns 7 years
Expense records 7 years
Financial statements Permanent
Contracts Permanent
Minutes of meetings Life if company plus 7 years
Corporate stock records Permanent
Employee records Period of employment plus 7 years
Depreciation schedules Life of assets plus 7 years
Real estate records Ownership period plus 7 years
Journal and general ledger Life of business plus 7 years
Inventory records 7 years
Home purchase and improvement records Ownership period plus 7 years
Investment records Ownership period plus 7 years

Requirements for computer-maintained records are generally the same as for the manually kept records.

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