Keeping reliable, accurate and complete records for your business is essential. Knowing when it is okay to destroy documents helps reduce clutter, and saves you valuable time. Save space by regularly purging older records according to the rules.
What are the record-keeping time frames in Saskatchewan?
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): For GST/HST, income taxes, source deductions (EI, CPP), business income and expenses, property and motor vehicle use, you must keep all records and supporting documents 6 years from the end of the last tax year they relate to.
Saskatchewan Finance: With the various provincial taxes (eg. Corporate Capital Tax, PST, Fuel Tax, Liquor Consumption Tax, Tobacco Tax, etc), businesses must not destroy records unless you first obtain permission from the Revenue Division. Records that are at least 6 years old may be destroyed without obtaining permission.
Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB): WCB does not have clear standards on record retention; however CFIB is seeking clarification for specific timelines.
Saskatchewan Employment Standards: For current employees, payroll records must be kept for the most recent 5 years. After an employee leaves a job, the employee’s payroll records must be kept for an additional 2 years.
Canada Labour Code: In workplaces under the jurisdiction of federal labour standards, employment and payroll records for each employee must be kept for at least 36 months. When employment ends, you must keep the employee’s records for another 36 months.
Customers' Personal Information: Most Saskatchewan businesses fall under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). This Act sets rules for how businesses handle personal information in the course of their commercial activities. While there may be no specific timelines for record destruction, review the best practices for retention and disposal of personal information.
Tips to improve your record retention:
- You must store records at your principal place of business.
- Paper documents can often be converted to electronic images and stored on microfilm.
- Backup copies of electronic files should be stored in another location free from hazards that may affect the storage device, such as magnetic fields, direct light and excessive moisture. Be sure your chosen storage format is usable by the government agencies.