Document Retention and Destruction Policy by hij8Bw3


1. Take an inventory of records.
2. Review the types and value of current records.
       Administrative value - Use in the day-to-day operations.
       Legal value - Records that must be maintained to comply with or show compliance with laws and
       Historical value - Records that show the history of the nonprofit, such as the bylaws.
3. Review the applicable federal and state laws and regulations for each type of records.
4. Develop a records retention policy and/or schedule.
5. Apply the new schedule to the current nonprofit records.
6. Continue to apply the retention schedule to archive and dispose of records at least annually.
7. Review records retention policy/schedule periodically for compliance with new or revised laws and

   Some records that may be purged may be filed with records that need to be retained. You may want
    to retain the whole file; in this case the benefit of purging the records may not outweigh the time it
    takes to do the purge.
   When storing boxes put a “destroy after” date on the box so the records need not be reviewed each
   Some records are so important that originals or copies should be kept offsite. What records would the
    nonprofit need to keep running after an emergency? What records are irreplaceable?
   Putting a date on the label of an inactive file can make purging simple.
   Have a Purge Day. Set aside a day for the whole office to review, organize, toss and archive files.

   What records are currently in storage?
   What records are currently in the nonprofits daily operating space?
   What are the space restraints?
   How old are the various records?
   What is the usefulness of existing records?
                            Document Retention and Destruction Policy
                                          (Draft ___)

    I.   Purpose
         In accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1519 and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it a crime to
         alter, cover up, falsify, or destroy any document with the intent of impeding or obstructing any official
         proceeding, this policy provides for the systematic review, retention and destruction of documents
         received or created by CHAMBER NAME in connection with the transaction of organization business.
         This policy covers all records and documents, regardless of physical form, contains guidelines for
         how long certain documents should be kept and how records should be destroyed. The policy is
         designed to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, to eliminate accidental or
         innocent destruction of records and to facilitate CHAMBER NAME’ operations by promoting efficiency
         and freeing up valuable storage space.

    II. Document Retention
        CHAMBER NAME follows the document retention procedures outlined below. Documents that are not
        listed, but are substantially similar to those listed in the schedule will be retained for the appropriate
        length of time.

         Corporate Records
          Annual Reports to Secretary of State/Attorney General                          Permanent
          Articles of Incorporation                                                      Permanent
          Board Meeting and Board Committee Minutes                                      Permanent
          Board Policies/Resolutions                                                     Permanent
          By-laws                                                                        Permanent
          Construction Documents                                                         Permanent
          Fixed Asset Records                                                            Permanent
          IRS Application for Tax-Exempt Status (Form 102__)                             Permanent
          IRS Determination Letter                                                       Permanent
          State Sales Tax Exemption Letter                                               Permanent
          Contracts (after expiration)                                                   7 years
          Correspondence (general)                                                       3 years

         Accounting and Corporate Tax Records
          Annual Audits and Financial Statements                                         Permanent
          Depreciation Schedules                                                         Permanent
          General Ledgers                                                                Permanent
          IRS 990 Tax Returns                                                            Permanent
          Business Expense Records                                                       7 years
          IRS 1099s                                                                      7 years
          Journal Entries                                                                7 years
          Invoices                                                                       7 years
          Sales Records (box office, concessions, gift shop)                             5 years
          Petty Cash Vouchers                                                            4 years
          Cash Receipts                                                                  4 years
          Credit Card Receipts                                                           4 years
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         Bank Records
          Check Registers                                                              Permanent
          Canceled Checks                                                              7 years
          Bank Deposit Slips                                                           7 years
          Bank Statements and Reconciliation                                           7 years
          Electronic Fund Transfer Documents                                           7 years

         Payroll and Employment Tax Records
          Payroll Registers                                                            Permanent
          State Unemployment Tax Records                                               Permanent
          Earnings Records                                                             Permanent
          Garnishment Records                                                          7 years
          Payroll Tax returns                                                          7 years
          W-2 Statements                                                               7 years

         Employee Records
          Employment and Termination Agreements                                        Permanent
          Retirement and Pension Plan Documents                                        Permanent
          Records Relating to Promotion, Demotion or Discharge                         7 years after termination
          Accident Reports and Worker’s Compensation Records                           5 years
          Salary Schedules                                                             Permanent
          Employment Applications                                                      3 years
          I-9 Forms                                                                    3 years after termination
          Time Cards                                                                   3 years

         Donor Records and Acknowledgement Letters                                     7 years
         Grant Applications and Contracts                                              5 years after completion

         Legal, Insurance and Safety Records
           Appraisals                                                                  Permanent
           Copyright Registrations                                                     Permanent
           Environmental Studies                                                       Permanent
           Insurance Policies                                                          Permanent
           Real Estate Documents                                                       Permanent
           Stock and Bond Records                                                      Permanent
           Trademark Registrations                                                     Permanent
           Leases                                                                      6 years after expiration
           OSHA Documents                                                              5 years
           General Contracts                                                           4 years after termination

    III. Electronic Documents and Records
         Electronic documents will be retained as if they were paper documents. Therefore, any electronic
         files, including records of donations made online, that fall into one of the document types on the
         above schedule will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time. If a user has sufficient reason
         to keep an email message, the message should be kept in the appropriate file or moved to an
         “archive” computer file folder. Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.

    IV. Tape Recordings
        If made, tape recordings of minutes will be erased as soon as the meeting minutes are approved.
        Audio and video recordings of CHAMBER NAME meetings other than specifically permitted by
        advance, written approval of the Executive Director are prohibited.

    V. Emergency Planning
       CHAMBER NAME’ records will be stored in a safe, secure and accessible manner. Documents and
       financial files that are essential to keeping CHAMBER NAME operating in an emergency will be
       duplicated or backed up at least every week and maintained off site.

    VI. Document Destruction

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         CHAMBER NAME’ Executive Director is responsible for the ongoing process of identifying its records,
         which have met the required retention period and overseeing their destruction. Destruction of financial
         and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding.

         Document destruction will be suspended immediately, upon any indication of an official
         investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent. Destruction will be reinstated upon
         conclusion of the investigation.

    VII. Exemptions
         Exemptions to this policy may be authorized by the Board of Directors. Matters regarding
         document retention not addressed in this policy shall be referred to the Executive Director for

    VIII. Compliance
          Failure on the part of employees to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions
          against CHAMBER NAME and its employees and possible disciplinary action against responsible
          individuals. The Executive Director and Finance Committee chair will periodically review these
          procedures with legal counsel or the organization’s certified public accountant to ensure that they are
          in compliance with new or revised regulations.

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