Records Retention

Friday, July 22, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Dealers periodically ask how long they need to keep certain documents or at what point can they be disposed of. The enclosed analysis, put together over 20 years ago by Crowe Chizek (now Crowe LLP), continues as an accurate and comprehensive analysis of these concerns, and continues to provide direction to our dealer members:

Records Retention Checklist

Type Years
Accident reports and claims (settled cases) 10
Accounts payable ledgers and schedules 7
Accounts receivable ledgers and schedules
Audit report of accountants Permanently
Bank reconciliations 7
Bank statements
Capital stock and bond records ledgers, transfer registers, stubs showing issues, record of interest coupons options, etc. Permanently
Cash disbursement journal 7
Cash receipts journal
Chart of accounts Permanently
Checks (canceled, but see exception below) 7
Check (canceled for important payments, i.e., taxes, purchases of property, special contracts, etc.) (Checks should be filed with the papers pertaining to the underlying transactions) Permanently
Contracts and leases (expired) 7
Contracts and leases still in effect Permanently
Correspondence (general) 5
Correspondence (legal and important matters only) Permanently
Credit application (denied) 2
Credit application (approved) No requirement
Customer files 10
Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale Permanently
Depreciation schedules Permanently
Deposit slips 7
Duplicate deposit slips
Employee personnel records (after termination) 6
Employee withholding records
Employment applications
Expense analyses and expense distribution schedules
Financial statements (end of year, other months optional) Permanently
General and private ledgers (end-of-year trial balances) Permanently
Gifts, records of gifts Permanently
Group disability reports 8
Incorporation records made or received Permanently
Insurance policies (expired) 4
Insurance policies reports, and claims (current) Permanently
Internal audit reports (in some situations longer retention periods may be desirable) 3
Internal reports (miscellaneous) 3
Inventories of products, materials, and supplies 7
Invoices to customers 7
Invoices from vendors
Invoices (vehicles) 10
Journals Permanently
Minute books of director and stockholders, including bylaws and charger Permanently
Notes-receivable ledger and schedules 7
Odometer statements
OSHA records 6
Payroll register Permanently
Petty-cash vouchers 3
Property appraisals by outside appraisers Permanently
Property records (including costs, depreciation reserves, end-of-year trial balances, depreciation schedules, blueprints, and plans) Permanently
Purchase orders 7
Repair orders
Retail installment contract (assigned) 10
Retail installment contract (not assigned) 11 years after expiration
Retirement and pension records Permanently
Service contracts/extended warranty 10 years after expiration
Shipping and receiving reports 7
Stock and bond certificates (canceled) Permanently
Subsidiary ledgers 7
Tax and legal correspondence Permanently
Tax returns and worksheets, revenue agent’s reports, and other documents relating to determination of income tax liability Permanently
Tax Form 8300 5
Trademark registrations Permanently
Vouchers for payments to vendors, employees, etc. (including allowances and reimbursement of employees, officers, etc., for travel and entertainment expenses) 7
Underground storage tanks Permanently
Uniform hazardous-waste manifests 3
Unemployment tax returns and work papers 5

Chicago Automobile Trade Association
18W200 Butterfield Rd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 
(630) 495-2282


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