Generally, you must keep all required records and supporting documents for a period of six years from the end of the last tax year they relate to.

The tax year:

  • is the fiscal period for corporations
  • is the calendar year for individuals
  • varies for trusts based on the type (for more information on trusts, including the tax year for each type, go to trust administrators)

The rules for the record retention period are similar under the following legislations:

  • the Income Tax Act
    the Excise Tax Act (includes the GST/HST)
    the Employment Insurance Act
    the Canada Pension Plan
    the Excise Act, 2001
    the Air Travellers Security Charge Act

In some situations, you must retain your records for a different period of time. Below is a list of these situations, as well as the retention periods that apply to each of them:

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