Accounting Help Center in Stockton, CA

 
 
 
 

Document Retention

Recommendations on Keeping Documents

Tholborn, Ostrowski, & Crane, LLP's recommendations on document retention are listed in the tables below.
Different types of records need to be retained for different time periods. The time documents should be kept depends on appropriate laws, IRS and governmental regulations, and third-party requirements.
*These recommendations on Document Retention are general guidelines. They are NOT advice for any specific circumstance! Please contact us for professional advice.
General Financial Records
Type of Record Retention Period (Years)
Auditors' reports Permanent
Bank debt deduction 7
Bank deposit slips, reconciliations, statements 4
Bills of lading 4
Budgets 2
Checks – cancelled 4
Contracts – purchase and sales 4*
Credit memos 4
Depreciation records 4*
Employee expense reports 4
Employee payroll records (W-2, W-4, annual earnings records, etc.) 6*
Financial statements — annual Permanent
Financial statements — interim 4
Freight bills 4
Internal reports (Work orders, sales reports, production reports) 4
Inventory lists 4
Invoices – Sales and cash register receipts, merchandise purchases 4
Invoices — purchases (permanent assets) 4*
General ledger Permanent
Journals
General, cash receipts, cash disbursement, and purchase journals. Permanent
Payroll journal 4
Petty cash vouchers 4
Subsidiary ledgers (accounts receivable, accounts payable, etc.) 6
Time cards and daily time reports 4
Worthless securities 7
* Retention periods begin after termination, expiration, disposal, etc. of item.
Business Records
Type of Record Retention Period (Years)
Articles of incorporation Permanent
Bylaws Permanent
Capital stock and bond records Permanent
Contracts and agreements (government construction, partnership, employment, labor, etc.) Permanent
Copyrights and trademark registration Permanent
Legal correspondence Permanent
Minutes Permanent
Mortgages and note agreements 6*
Patents Permanent
Personnel files 4*
* Retention periods begin after termination, expiration, disposal, etc. of item.
Insurance Records
Type of Record Retention Period (Years)
Accident reports 6
Fire inspection reports 6
Group disability records 6
Insurance policies 6 *
Safety records 6
Settled insurance claims 4 *
* Retention periods begin after termination, expiration, disposal, etc. of item.
Pension/Profit Sharing Records
Type of Record Retention Period (Years)
Actuarial reports Permanent
Associated ledgers and journals Permanent
Financial statements Permanent
IRS approval letter Permanent
Plan and trust agreement Permanent
Tax Records
There is no limit for returns that are filed fraudulently or that substantially underreport income.
Type of Record Retention Period (Years)
Tax returns and cancelled checks
(federal, state and local)
Permanent
Sales and use tax returns Permanent
Payroll tax returns 4
Pension/profit-sharing informational returns Permanent
All retention periods begin with the date the return was filed. If the statute of limitations concerning a tax year is extended, the retention period should be extended accordingly.
IRS Information
Additional information on records you should keep and the Federal government's requirements for retention are on line at the Internal Revenue Service‘s site.
These recommendations on Document Retention are general guidelines. They are NOT advice for any specific circumstance! Please contact us for professional advice.
 

Tax Center

Download a tax organizer, utilize important tax links, remind ourself of important tax dates and didn't out the status of your refund (Federal and state) returns in this section of our site.

Tax Organizer



Important Dates

Dates To Remember for this Quarter
This tax calendar has the due dates for 2016 that most taxpayers will need. Employers and persons who pay excise taxes also should use the Employer's Federal Tax Calendar and the Federal Excise Tax Calendar.
Fiscal-year taxpayers - If you file your income tax return for a fiscal year rather than the calendar year, you must change some of the dates in this calendar. These changes are described under Fiscal-Year Taxpayers.
If you prefer to save the following tax dates within the Microsoft Outlook Calendar, please click the download link below. Then simply import the file into Microsoft Outlook by selecting “Import an iCalendar (.ics) or vCalendar file (.vcs)” and enjoy all of this year's Small Business Tax Events on your PC.
General Federal Tax Calendar:
1st Quarter 2016
The first quarter of a calendar year is made up of January, February, and March.
 
 
January 10:
Employees who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during December, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070, Employee's Report of Tips to Employer.
 
January 15:
Farmers and fishermen. Pay your estimated tax for 2012 using Form 1040-ES. You have until April 15 to file your 2012 income tax return (Form 1040). If you do not pay your estimated tax by January 15, you must file your 2012 return and pay any tax due by March 1, 2016, to avoid an estimated tax penalty.
Individuals. Make a payment of your estimated tax for 2012 if you did not pay your income tax for the year through withholding (or did not pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals. This is the final installment date for 2012 estimated tax. However, you do not have to make this payment if you file your 2012 return (Form 1040) and pay any tax due by January 31, 2016.
 
January 31:
Individuals who must make estimated tax payments. If you did not pay your last installment of estimated tax by January 15, you may choose (but are not required) to file your income tax return (Form 1040) for 2012 by January 31. Filing your return and paying any tax due by January 31 prevents any penalty for late payment of the last installment. If you cannot file and pay your tax by January 31, file and pay your tax by April 15.
All businesses. Give annual information statements to recipients of certain payments you made during 2012. You can use the appropriate version of Form 1099 or other information return. Form 1099 can be issued electronically with the consent of the recipient. Payments that may be covered include the following.
  • Cash payments for fish (or other aquatic life) purchased from anyone engaged in the trade or business of catching fish
  • Compensation for workers who are not considered employees (including fishing boat proceeds to crew members).
  • Dividends and other corporate distributions
  • Interest.
  • Rent.
  • Royalties.
  • Payments of Indian gaming profits to tribal members.
  • Profit-sharing distributions.
  • Retirement plan distributions.
  • Original issue discount.
  • Prizes and awards.
  • Medical and health care payments.
  • Debt cancellation (treated as payment debtor)
  • Cash payments over $10,000. See the instructions for Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business.
See the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns for information on what payments are covered, how much the payment must be before a statement is required, which form to use, when to file, and extensions of time to provide statements to the IRS. Forms 1099-B, 1099­S, and certain reporting on Form 1099-­MISC are due to recipients on February 15.
 
February 11:
Employees who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during January, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
 
February 15:
Individuals. If you claimed exemption from income tax withholding last year on the Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, you gave your employer, you must file a new Form W-4 by this date to continue your exemption for another year.
All businesses. Give annual information statements to recipients of certain payments you made during 2012. You can use the appropriate version of Form 1099 or other information return. Form 1099 can be issued electronically with the consent of the recipient. This due date applies only to the following types of payments.
  • All payments reported on Form 1099-B, Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions.
  • All payments reported on Form 1099-S, Proceeds From Real Estate Transactions.
  • Substitute payments reported in box 8 or gross proceeds paid to an attorney reported in box 14 of Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income.
 
February 28:
All businesses. File information returns (for example, Forms 1099) for certain payments you made during 2012. These payments are described under January 31. There are different forms for different types of payments. Use a separate Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, to summarize and transmit the forms for each type of payment. See the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns for information on what payments are covered, how much the payment must be before a return is required, which form to use, and extensions of time to file.
If you file Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, or W-2G electronically, your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to April 1. The due date for giving the recipient these forms generally remains January 31.
 
March 1:
Farmers and fishermen. File your 2012 income tax return (Form 1040) and pay any tax due. However, you have until April 15 to file if you paid your 2012 estimated tax by January 15, 2016.
 
March 11:
Employees who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during February, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
 
March 15:
Corporations. File a 2012 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic 6-­month extension of time to file the return, file Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns, and deposit what you estimate you owe.

S corporation election. File Form 2553, Election by a Small Business Corporation, to elect to be treated as an S corporation beginning with calendar year 2016. If Form 2553 is filed late, S treatment will begin with calendar year 2014.

S corporations. File a 2012 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120S) and pay any tax due. Provide each shareholder with a copy of Schedule K-­1 (Form 1120S), Shareholder's Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc., or a substitute Schedule K-1. If you want an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the return, file Form 7004 and deposit what you estimate you owe. Read more
 

Track our Refund

If you would like to know when you will be receiving your federal or state tax refund, it is as easy as clicking on one of the two links below.
 
California State Refund
 
Federal Refund
 
 

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