Policy: Document Retention and Destruction

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In accordance with 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 the Red Mountain Makers 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 (unless under a legal hold). This policy is designed to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, to eliminate accidental or innocent destruction of records, and to facilitate the Red Mountain Maker's operations by promoting efficiency and freeing up valuable storage space.

Document Retention

Red Mountain Makers 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

Document Retention Period
Annual reports to Secretary of State/Attorney General Permanent
Articles of incorporation Permanent
Board meeting and committee Minutes Permanent
Board policies/Resolutions Permanent
Bylaws Permanent
Construction Documents Permanent
Fixed asset records Permanent
IRS Application for Tax-Exempt Status (Form 1023) Permanent
IRS determination letter Permanent
State sales tax exemption Letter Permanent
Contracts (after expiration) 7 years
Correspondence 3 years

Accounting and Corporate Tax Records

Record Retention
Annual audits and financial statements Permanent
Depreciation schedules Permanent
IRS Form 990 tax returns Permanent
General ledgers 7 years/Permanent - decision to be made
Business expense records 7 years
IRS Forms 1099 7 years
Journal entries 7 years
Invoices 7 years
Sales records (concessions, gift and supply shop) 5 years
Petty cash vouchers 3 years
Cash receipts 3 years
Credit card receipts 3 years

Bank Records

Record Retention
Check registers 7 years/permanent - to be decided
Bank deposit slips 7 years
Bank statements and reconciliation 7 years
Electronic fund transfer documents 7 years

Payroll and Employment Tax Records

Record Retention
Payroll registers Permanent
State unemployment tax records Permanent
Earnings records 7 years
Garnishment records 7 years
Payroll tax returns 7 years
W-2 statements 7 years

Employee Records (not that we have any!)

Record Retention
Employment and termination agreements Permanent
Retirement and pension plan documents Permanent
Records relating to promotion, demotion or discharge 7 years
Accident reports and worker's compensation records 5 years
Salary schedules 5 years
Employment applications 3 years
I-9 forms 3 years after termination
Time cards 2 years

Donor and Grant Records

Record Retention
Donor records and acknowledgement letters 7 years
Grant applications and contracts 7 years after completion

Legal, Insurance and Safety Records

Record Retention
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 3 years after termination

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 reasons to keep an e-mail message, the message should be printed in a hard copy and kept in the appropriate file or moved to an "archive" computer. Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.

Emergency Planning

Red Mountain Makers's records will be stored in a safe, secure and accessible manner. Documents and financial files that are essential to keep Red Mountain Makers operating in an emergency will be duplicated or backed up at least every week and maintained off-site.

Document Destruction

Red Mountain Maker's Treasurer is responsible for the ongoing process of identifying its records, which have met the required retention period, and overseeing their destruction. Destruction of paper-based financial and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding; electronic by deletion.

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.


Failure on the part of employees, members and volunteers to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against Red Mountain Makers and its employees, members and volunteers, and possible disciplinary action.


Date adopted

ADOPTED: General meeting, Sunday March 27, 2016 by majority vote of keyholding membership.