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The Record Retention Guide

INTRODUCTION

Members of the public accounting profession use information as the source of business. Whether it be for an audited financial report, a compilation, a review, or a tax return, they must gather, summarize and analyze facts and figures to support reports, tax returns and conclusions. After the report is issued and the tax return is filed, the next important question is just how long must these business records be retained.

This handbook offers some guidance. It provides a suggested time frame to maintain records. It has been assimilated from several sources, including the basic IRS Regulation - 26 CFR 1.6001-1, The Guide of Record Retention Requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations, as well as by reviewing and analyzing numerous record retention schedules.

Before finalizing an entity’s record retention procedures, it is recommended that the IRS regulations, state and local government retention requirements and the AICPA’s Filing and Record Retention Procedures Guide be reviewed.

Please note: The suggested retention periods shown are not offered as final authority, but as guideposts against which to compare your needs. There my very well be situations, for historical or reference purposes, that neccessitate longer periods than legally required.