Record Retention Schedule

January 5, 2015

How long you need to keep tax and business records depends on the nature of the information and how you use it. Very little specific guidance is available, even from the IRS.

Generally, you are required to keep records that will enable the IRS to determine your correct tax. Usually the federal statute of limitations runs out three years after a tax return is due or filed, whichever is later. However, the statute runs for six years if there is an omission from gross income of 25% or more. In the case of fraud or failure to file, there is no time limit.

Each state can determine its own statute of limitations. For example, Wisconsin’s basic state statute runs for four years.

If you are in an industry subject to federal regulation (Labor Department requirements if you have employees, for example), you must also follow the record retention requirements of those branches of government.

We offer this schedule as a starting point. Consult your attorney before implementing any business record retention policy.

To learn more, download the full guide.

Tags: Tax