Record Keeping

I know there is probably already a topic on this, I search and nothing came up that is recent or relavant to my question:
I need to know, in my business I use guest checks for our customers orders, does anyone know do I have to actually keep these for 6 years? I do know I have to keep all the other important paper work, such as receipts, invoices and such things, but actual guest checks, my basement is starting to look overwhelming

I’m glad you brought this up because in 2 weeks I will be tKing over a shop and my intentions are to keep purchase receipts from vendors (most likely I will scan them to digital format once paid) and register and cc receipts, guest checks aren’t even on my radar screen

Yeah guest checks are bulky and take up alot of room. I have boxes upon boxes of them, really would like to know if I can toss them out?

What is the recommendation of the accountant that does your taxes?

It would be awful if someone on here said the Federal requirement is X years only to discover that a Sales Tax auditor in your particular State can look back X+1 years.

My accountant is my mother, and she does not know the answer to this question either, she plans on trying to call someone in the IRS to find out, but you know how getting questions answered from them go.

Our local tax authorities can go back three years (from the date the audit commences) on a sales tax audit. My accountant tells me to keep the tax related documents to support the last three tax returns. (For right now that means 2010, 2009, 2008) plus anything that has been questioned or audited in the past. As a practical matter, I keep an additional year so I have everything from 2007 at this point. When I get past those dates, I keep employment/wage records, bank statements and tax returns. Once I am down to just those items, each year fits in a single bank box.

You need to talk to an accountant in your area that CAN answer the questions you have. Even if you have a family member doing your month to month book keeping, there are enough potential headaches in the tax code that it is a good idea to have a CPA doing your returns and advising you on these things.