Keeping Records – What do you need to keep and for how long?
Records are all of your accounting and other financial information documents. These documents must be kept organized. The type of information your records contain depend on your situation and other factors such as:
- your business type
- the format you use to keep your records (paper, electronic or a combination of the two)
- if you have converted any paper records or supporting documents into an electronic version
- if you are involved in e-commerce (for more information, go to E-commerce)
- if you are a GST/HST registrant
- if you are an employer
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has detailed information for situations where your records, including those of your business, are affected by a disaster. For more information, including what qualifies as a disaster, go to Disasters and disaster relief.
If you need more information after reading the following topics, call 1-800-959-5525.
- What are records, who has to keep them and why it is important
- Your responsibilities and the requirements associated with records the law requires you to keep
- Business records
Keep income, expense, motor vehicle, and property records
- GST/HST and payroll records
Information that GST/HST registrants and persons claiming a GST/HST rebate or refund must keep in their records, and the information that employers must keep in their records.
- Specific information that certain entities have to keep
Information that corporations, trusts, registered agents for registered political parties, official agents for candidates in a federal election, and registered charities, registered Canadian amateur athletic associations and other qualified donees must keep in their records.
- Acceptable format, imaging paper documents, and backing up electronic files
Paper and electronic formats; converting paper documents into electronic files; reproducing or destroying paper documents after imaging; making backup copies of your electronic files.
- Where to keep your records, for how long, and how to request the permission to destroy them early
- Review of business systems and keeping audit trails of business transactions
What the CRA verifies when it reviews business systems, and keeping information on the sequence of events of business transactions