IRS Non Profit Record Retention Period – Tax Question

Tax Question – Do you know the law on how long you have to keep minutes for a non profit as well as prior tax records?

Answer:  The IRS considers board minutes as records that should be kept permanently.  The IRS considers the following permanent records: organizing documents, such as by-laws and articles of incorporation, tax exempt status documents, and the determination letter recognizing tax exempt status.

Generally, non profit tax returns should be kept at least three years from the due date of the tax return.  For example, due date for the 2010 tax return is April 15, 2011.  You would need to retain the tax return for three years or April 15, 2014.

The exception is if there are items report on the return that are carried forward.  For example, depreciating equipment.  You should keep tax returns depreciating equipment for the life of the equipment.

Employment tax records should be kept for four years.

We recommend you retain records for six years to be safe.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To the extent this writing contains advice on a federal tax issue, the advice is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.