Stay organized with solid record retention plan

Organization guru Marie Kondo can offer tips for decluttering your home, and we have suggestions for keeping your important financial records in order.

The first part of the year is a good time for McDonald’s owner/operators to run a cash sheet on QsrSoft for the previous year. Having this information on hand is important because if you should sell a restaurant any time during the year, you will no longer be able to access that information through QsrSoft.

Maintaining tax documents and other financial records is important when it comes time to file taxes or an amended return, or even in the case of an IRS audit.

We have on our website a comprehensive record retention guide for a variety of documents pertinent to McDonald’s owner/operators, but we also advise retaining other important tax documents for several years.

  • Tax returns and supporting documents at least three years.
  • Employment tax records should be kept at least four years after the date that the tax becomes due or paid, whichever is later.
  • Tax records should be kept at least seven years if a return claims a loss from worthless securities or a bad debt deduction. Copies of previously-filed tax returns are helpful in preparing current-year tax returns and making computations if a return needs to be amended.

Of course, how you retain your records is just as important as actually keeping them. We advise that paper records should be kept in a secure location, preferably under lock and key, such as a secure desk drawer or a safe. Records retained electronically should be backed up electronically and encrypted when possible.

Any paper tax and financial records should be scanned into a format that can be encrypted and stored securely on a flash drive, CD or DVD with photos or videos of valuables.

When it comes time to disposing of financial or tax documents, be sure that any paper tax returns, supporting documents and any other materials with sensitive data (e.g., Social Security numbers, birth dates. income amounts, bank account information, etc.) are shredded before being discarded. When eliminating electronic data, use a special wiping software to ensure that the sensitive data is completely removed.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tammy Howell is Team Leader for the Tax and Accounting Team. She can be reached at tch@antarescpas.com.