On May 11, 2015, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) updated its policies and information related to the retention of books and records. This update includes information about what can and cannot be destroyed and provides examples about what is considered permanent records and what is non-permanent.
- With respect to a corporation’s books and records (i.e. minutes of directors’ meetings and shareholders’ meetings, share registers, the general ledger, and any special contracts or agreements necessary to an understanding of the entries in the general ledger), such “permanent” records must be kept from the date of incorporation, until two years after the day on which the corporation is dissolved.
- That a corporation’s non-permanent records, must generally be retained for a period of six years from the end of the last taxation year to which the books and records relate. These “non-permanent” records of the corporation are not required to be kept from the date of incorporation, rather they may be destroyed after the six-year retention period.
- CRA also note that: “A dissolved corporation is required to retain the non-permanent records referred to above that it has on hand in accordance with the six-year retention as per above for two further years from the date of dissolution.”
For further information go to www.cra-arc.gc.ca/records. This link also provides useful information regarding electronic records and businesses that have been affected by a disaster.
This is similar to the general advice of keeping all documents for at least 7 years. However, the new idea here is to ensure that a full copy of the general ledger for each year is kept until 2 years after dissolution.
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