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Accounting Tip: Follow the Six Year Rule for Preserving Business Records

Under Canadian tax law, taxpayers are required to keep their books and records for a period of six years following the end of the tax year to which they relate. For individuals, this means the calendar year and for corporations the end of their chosen fiscal year.

The expression “books and records” means all documents, in any format, that are useful in establishing a taxpayer’s revenue, expenses, and taxes payable. They must be kept in Canada at your principal place of business.

There are exceptions to the six-year rule. For example, if you purchased a capital good, you must keep the documents showing the cost of acquisition until six years after the year when it is disposed of.

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