In the United States, records of business expenses may be stored digitally. The electronic storage system should conform to the requirements published in the revenue procedure 97-22. For example, the electronic storage system must ensure an accurate and complete transfer of the hardcopy or computerized books and records to an electronic storage media and it must index, store, preserve, retrieve and reproduce the electronically stored books and records.
There are separate rules on how long businesses should keep financial records:
- Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return;
- Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction;
- Keep employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.