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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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Contren Management Consultants Inc.
1030 Upper James, Suite 204
Hamilton, Ontario. Canada L9C 6X6
Tel: (905) 769-6400
Fax: (905) 575-4600

E-mail: info@contrenmanagement.com


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