What would you like to do?

How long does an employer have to keep payroll records?

already exists.

Would you like to merge this question into it?

already exists as an alternate of this question.

Would you like to make it the primary and merge this question into it?

exists and is an alternate of .

The term "payroll records" encompasses many things....all types of records and accounting logs, payments of all types to different agencies, payments and calculations of pension and insurance, etc. Do you mean how long do they need to keep individual time cards...clearly a base payroll record....but worthless after no time...and it would cost zillions in storage fees to keep them very long.

So, they really need to keep them for as long as anyone involved might care. As a rule of thumb, 7 to 10 years is standard. In todays world of electronic records, many companies are keeping tape files for much longer...but retrieving them is sometimes very expensive...the systems and computer programs from years ago no longer are active, or can run on the platforms they are using...and it takes time, money and more to actually get data in a usable format.

How long a need for any specific record may exist depends on who is asking and what for. If the President of the company asks for something from those records from 25 years ago....he has a right and you better believe everybody will try to find them. If I ask for something from 2 years ago...why? and "do you realize how much time & money it will cost to get it....and it's in 25 boxes....you want to dig through those in the warehouse...have a good time"...is a more likely response.

If the IRS asks for something, generally they have a statute of limitations on audits for withholding of 3 years - although many things can extend it - and they may also want to audit it as part of the company income tax, or something else yet, which has yet a different period. Outside of the period, and the taxpayer doesn't have to provide it.

I suspect your asking about your own payroll records from an employer. They are required to timely (by 1/31 following the year end) to have provided you with your W-2. Once they timely give them to you, it is YOUR obligation to keep them. It is none of your business how long they keep their records on this or other things. And it will be your problem and expense if you claim they didn't comply with making them available to you. (By trying to mail them to your last known address for example, your receipt is irrelevant). Reporting them (by electronic means) to IRS, etc is required by law.
13 people found this useful
Thanks for the feedback!

How long do you keep employment records?

\n. \n Answer \n. \n. \nYou should keep all your employment records to prove in court though social security will only need to see 7years, it's worth keeping the last 1

How does a payroll administrator keep busy all day long?

Great question! I have often wondered this myself and so I begun observing them. What I have noticed is that they typically do other tasks as well during the week besides just

How long is the employer responsible for uncashed payroll checks?

For all practical and legal purposes, forever.. Depending on the State the employer and employee are in the money MUST be turned over to the UNCLAIMED FUNDS department of tha

How long do employers need to keep employee records?

Taken from the U.S, Chamber of Commerce website:. Personnel Information You Must Keep . The only records that you have to keep are those required by the government (we dis

What is a reasonable fee an employer may charge for providing payroll records that are subpoenaed?

If they are subpoena'd by the court - there will be no cost to anyone. If they are subpoena'd by the defense (in a criminal trial) or the plaintiff or respondant (in a civil t