Originally posted September 11, 2019 – Updated August 22, 2022
Do I need to keep records when I have hired an accounting service?
According to the law, you must retain and protect any records related to your personal or business tax returns even if you hired Cody & James, or another third party to prepare your tax returns or provide other accounting services. During a review or audit the CRA holds you accountable for making available all records related to what you have filed personally or for your business.
How can Cody & James help if I am audited?
As your accountant, we can help you prepare information for the CRA. We will ensure it is in an acceptable format. We can even submit required information to the CRA to support your audit or review. However, the CRA holds each taxpayer and business owner responsible for providing their own information.
My financial records are taking up space – do I really need to keep them?
What you are required to keep and for how long varies, but a best practice is to keep all information for at least 6 years after they’ve been filed with the CRA.
What do I need to keep?
Details about what you must keep can be found on the Keeping Records page of the CRA website.
The list below is not exhaustive, but is a general guideline:
- Your completed tax returns (T1 Generals)
- Charitable donation receipts
- Medical expense receipts
- Property tax proof of payment
- Rent receipts
- Tuition receipts (T2202A)
- Employment expenses (T2200)
- All T-slips (T4s, T5s, T3s, Investment statements, etc)
Generally, keep any documents that support what was included on your tax return.
- Income records (sales invoices, deposits, cash register tapes, etc.)
- Expense records (all receipts)
- GST/HST records (all records where you paid or received GST/HST)
- Payroll records (time sheets with hours worked by employee, amounts withheld, etc.)
If in doubt, best to keep any documents with the fiscal year it relates to.
NOTE: Please refer to the Canada Revenue Agency for a complete list of records to be kept and required retention periods.