Records Retention

Clients frequently ask how long they should retain important documents. The schedule below is provided for informational purposes only. Please contact legal counsel for guidelines applicable to your situation.

Taxpayers retaining records using paperless alternatives should refer to the following revenue procedures to ensure that records are acceptable to the IRS. Rev. Proc. 81-46 addresses retaining books and records on microfilm or microfiche (micrography technology). Rev. Proc. 97-22 updates the procedures in Rev. Proc. 81-46 for the advances in retaining records via electronic storage media such as magnetic tape, optical disk, CD-ROM, etc. Rev. Proc. 98-25 provides guidance on retention of automated data process (ADP) files or machine sensible records.

Guide to Small Business Record-keeping