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Save space by purging old records—according to the rules

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Keeping reliable, accurate and complete records about your business is essential. Knowing when it is okay to destroy documents helps reduce storage clutter.

What are the record-keeping timeframes in Manitoba?

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.

Manitoba Finance

Keep all documents for the current fiscal year plus the preceding 6 years. Records may not be destroyed for tax years where the taxes are outstanding, in dispute, or the province has provided written request for those records. General ledgers must be kept indefinitely.

Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB)

WCB does not have clear standards on record retention, but CFIB is pushing for the Board to set specific timelines.

Manitoba Employment Standards

Detailed employee records must be stored at least 3 years after the records are made. Keep records of the employee’s address, date of birth and wage changes for 3 years after employment ends.

Canada Labour Code

In workplaces under the jurisdiction of federal labour standards, payroll and employment records must be stored for at least 3 years.

Looking for 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 or 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.