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. See more details below.
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, payroll and employment records must be stored for at least 3 years.
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.