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How long must records be kept after the sale of a business?
Old 12-29-2017, 10:51 AM   #1
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How long must records be kept after the sale of a business?

I'm having trouble finding specific information on the issue of record retention after the sale of a business. My parents sold their restaurant in 2011. Mom is hanging on to dozens of boxes of the business's accounting records in a storage unit. DH and I would like to start getting them shredded, starting with the boxes dated 2010 and earlier. Mom seems to think she needs to go through them first, looking for I don't know what, and she doesn't seem to know either. She says there are records she must keep indefinitely, such as those from the sale of the business, which seems reasonable, but she thinks there may be others in those boxes.

Aside from records for the sale, are there any she must keep indefinitely? After she passes, would I need to keep any of the records? I had no legal involvement with the restaurant, aside from working there from age 8 to 20.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:01 AM   #2
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I would keep them at least seven years, some of the individual receipts maybe you don't need after 4 years or so. And that is tax years, not calendar years.

Since the business has been sold, I do not think you need to keep anything indefinitely.

You only need to keep records to track the basis of a item, once it is sold you do not care about the basis after seven years.

I am not an accountant, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express a while back.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:15 AM   #3
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I am not an accountant, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express a while back.
I'd be much more impressed if you'd played one on TV...
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:04 PM   #4
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This is not a question for SGOTI. Contact the CPA that handled the business and ask him/her. Or ask another CPA. There are specific rules on this kind of thing and IIRC generally the required retention periods are shorter than you might think. But, too, I am just SGOTI.

Further, for at least most of it there may be no need to go through the hassle and expense of shredding.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:27 PM   #5
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Further, for at least most of it there may be no need to go through the hassle and expense of shredding.
Mom thinks there are payroll records with SS numbers, and also credit card receipts in there, so we may be stuck with hauling boxes off to a shredding service (I really wouldn't want to buy a shredder and do it myself!)
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