Document Retention Timeline

 To Shred, or not to shred, that is the question:

As junk mail, tax returns, and various documents from work pile up; it can get pretty confusing trying to figure out what you should keep in your records and for how long. Office and garage space is a limited resource, so only storing the documents you’re required to keep is important. Mansfield Shredding’s Document Timeline will guide you in making these decisions easily; of course, individual circumstances could vary; so check your states local laws and regulations regarding document management and destruction.

DOCUMENT TYPE RETENTION PERIOD
A
Accident reports and claims (settled cases) 7 years
Accounts payable ledgers and schedules 7 years
Accounts receivable ledgers and schedules 7 years
Articles of incorporation Permanently
Audit report of accountants Permanently
B
Bank deposit slips 3 years
Bank reconciliation 1 year
Bank statements (not including cancelled checks) Permanently
Bills of lading 6 years
Brokerage statements (annual) Permanently
Budgets 2 years
C
Capital stock & bond records:ledgers, transfer registers, stubs showing issues, record of interest coupons, options, etc. Permanently
Cash books Permanently
Cash projections 2 years
Checks-cancelled 7 years
Checks-cancelled (important payments: taxes, property purchase, contracts) Permanently
Contracts, mortgages, notes andLeases (expired)  7 years
Contracts (current) Permanently
Copyright registration Permanently
Correspondence (routine) with customers or vendors 1 year
Correspondence (general) 3 years
Correspondence (legal or important) permanently
Credit memos 3 years
D
Deeds, mortgages and bills of sale Permanently
Depreciation schedules 3 years after full depreciation
Duplicate deposit slips 2 years
E
Employee expense reports 3 years
Employee payroll records (w-2, w-4, annual earnings records, etc.) 6 years
Employee personnel records (after termination) 3 years
Employment applications 3 years
Employment applications (not hired) 1 year
Expense analysis and Expense Distribution schedules 7 years
F
Financial statements (end of year) Permanently
Freight bills 4 years
G
Garnishments 7 years
General and private ledgers(end of year trial balances) Permanently
I
Insurance policies (expired) 6 years
Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies, etc. 7 years
Internal audit reports 7 years
Internal reports (misc.) 3 years
Internal work orders 3 years
Inventories of products, materials, and supplies 3 years after superseded
Invoices to customer 7 years
Invoices from vendors 7 years
J
Journals Permanently
Junk Mail None
M
Minute books Permanently
N
Notes receivable ledgers and schedules 7 years
O
Option records (expired) 7 years
P
Patents Permanently
Payroll records and summaries 8 years-Permanent
Petty cash vouchers 3 years
Physical inventory tags 3 years
Plant cost ledgers 7 years
Production and sales reports 3 years
Property appraisals Permanently
Property records (costs, depreciation reserves, year end balances, blueprints) Permanently
Purchase Journals Permanently
Purchase orders 1 Year
Purchase orders (department copy) 7 years
R
Receiving sheets 1 year
Requisitions 1 year
Retirement and pension records Permanently
S
Sales commission reports 3 years
Sales records 7 years
Scrap and salvage records 7 years
Subsidiary ledgers 7 years
T
Tax returns and worksheets 7 years
Telephone logs/message books 3 years
Time books/cards 6 years
Trademark registration Permanently
Training manuals Permanently
U
Union Agreements Permanently
V
Voucher register and schedules 7 years
Voucher for payments to vendors, employees ect. 7 years
W
Withholding tax statements 6 years