How long do I have to keep my records for Revenue Canada?
Revenue Canada recently mailed out a reminder on the requirement to
keep your business records for a minimum of six years. The six year time frame is
specified in both the Income Tax Act and the Excise Act (GST). These Acts require the
business to keep both source documents (ie: daily sales sheets, bank statements) and
computer records (ie: backup diskettes).
You may now start destroying your business records for
fiscal year ends previous to six years ago today. If today is January 1, 2005 and your
year end is December 31, then you could eliminate your records for the year ending
DECEMBER 31, 1998 and earlier.
The six year requirement is different than the three year
reassessment window. The reassessment period allows Revenue Canada the right to review any
tax returns or related filings and associated records for up to three years after the
return or filing has been assessed.
Retaining your records for six years also satisfies the
Employment Standards Acts' requirement to retain all your payroll records for five years.
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