Tax time can be dreadful for businesses and individuals when digging through old paperwork and files for the necessary documents to complete your business’ tax returns. Many times, people don’t know the retention rules for these documents, so extra documents are kept for years and years, but this only complicates things when searching for the current year’s files.

The rules for retention are not always black and white. The IRS sets some basic record retention standards for tax records, yet lawyers, accountants, banks, and government agencies all have different requirements and guidelines for how long to retain business records depending upon your individual business circumstances.

In addition to paper documents, electronic documents need to be considered in your record retention plans as well. There are some basic retention rules outlined below, but it is always best to double-check with your accountant, bank and industry agencies before planning for document destruction…

When planning for disposal of old documents, it is important to consider the risk of identity theft, and damage to your business if the documents get into the wrong hands. Confidential information is not only held on paper, but also on computers, hard drives, servers, and other electronic devices. It is important to remember to properly destroy outdated electronic devicesas well. The best way to protect sensitive business information is to hire a AAA NAID certified destruction company.