Essential rules of record retention after your office liquidation

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After business closure, rules of record retention come into force. Liquidated offices have a legal duty to retain records under federal, state, and local laws, for multiple purposes, including audits, tax returns, and any claims made against the company.

According to the IRS, how long you must keep your business records after office liquidation depends on what’s recorded in each document.

Employment tax records

Following office decommissioning, you must keep all employment tax records for at least four years. The IRS says that records should include:

  • Payment and wage amounts
  • Pension payments and annuities
  • The fair market value of in-kind payments
  • The value of any tips
  • Copies of filed returns
  • Records of allocated tips
  • Name, address, and social security number of employees
  • Employee occupations
  • Dates during which you employed them
  • Copies of various income tax withholding forms (W-4, W-4P, W-4S, and W-4V)
  • Fringe benefits records
  • Sickness and absence payment records

Please note that pending claims, including open litigation and workers’ compensation, need you to hold onto records until the case closes.

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Property Records

You must also keep property records until the end of the period of limitations in the year you dispose of the property. This is the grace period in which you can make changes to your tax return for credit or refund.

Destroying Records

Once the statutory time frame for keeping records after company dissolution expires, you can destroy them. Doing this helps protect the personal information of former employees and other stakeholders in your business.

However, indiscriminate destruction could be foolish. Before destroying any documents, consider whether keeping them could potentially help you defend against future lawsuits.

If you are confused about which documents to keep, and which to dispose of, we can help. Our commercial office liquidation service shows you precisely what you need to retain for legal purposes.

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