IPPL’s Document Retention/Destruction Policy

International Primate Protection League
Document Retention/Destruction Policy

This policy specifies how important documents (hardcopy, online or other media) should be retained, protected and eligible for destruction. The policy also ensures that documents are promptly provided to authorities in the course of legal investigations or lawsuits.

Document Retention Schedule

The following types of documents will be retained for the following periods of time. At least one copy of each document will be retained according to the following schedule.

Corporate Records

Articles of Incorporation to apply for corporate status Permanent
IRS Form 1023 (in the USA) to file for tax-exempt and/or charitable status Permanent
Letter of Determination (for example, from the IRS in the USA) granting tax-exempt and/or charitable status Permanent
Bylaws Permanent
Board policies Permanent
Resolutions Permanent
Board meeting minutes Permanent
Sales tax exemption documents Permanent
Tax or employee identification number designation Permanent
Annual corporate filings Permanent

Financial Records

Chart of accounts Permanent
Fiscal policies and procedures Permanent
Audits Permanent
Chart of accounts fiscal policies and procedures Permanent
Financial statements Permanent
General ledger Permanent
Check registers/books 7 Years
Business expenses documents 7 Years
Bank deposit slips 7 Years
Cancelled checks 7 Years
Invoices 7 Years
Investment records (deposits, earnings, withdrawals) 3 Years
Property/asset inventories 3 Years
Petty cash receipts/documents 3 Years
Credit card receipts 3 Years

Tax Records  

Annual tax filing for the organization (IRS Form 990 in the USA) Permanent
Payroll registers Permanent
Filings of fees paid to professionals (IRS Form 1099 in the USA) 7 Years
Payroll tax withholdings 7 Years
Earnings records 7 Years
Payroll tax returns 7 Years
W-2 statements 7 Years

Personnel Records  

Employee offer letters Permanent
Confirmation of employment letters Permanent
Benefits descriptions per employee Permanent
Pension records Permanent
Employee applications and resumes 7 years after termination
Promotions, demotions, letters of reprimand, termination 7 years after termination
Job descriptions, performance goals 7 years after termination
Workers’ Compensation records 5 Years
Salary ranges per job description 5 Years
I-9 forms 5 years after termination
Time reports 3 years after termination

 Insurance Records

Property insurance policy Permanent
Directors and officers insurance policy Permanent
Workers’ Compensation insurance policy Permanent
General liability insurance policy Permanent
Insurance claims applications Permanent
Insurance dispersements/denials Permanent


All insurance contracts Permanent
Employee contracts Permanent
Construction contracts Permanent
Legal correspondence Permanent
Loan/mortgage contracts Permanent
Leases/deeds Permanent
Vendor contracts 7 Years
Warranties 7 Years

 Donations / Funder Records

Grant dispersal contracts Permanent
Grant applications 7 years
Donor acknowledgements 7 years

Management Plans and Procedures  

Strategic plans 7 years
Staffing, programs, marketing, finance, fundraising and evaluation plans 7 years
Vendor contacts 7 years
Disaster Recovery Plan 7 years

Document Protection  

Documents (hardcopy, online or other media) will be stored in a protected environment for the duration of the Document Retention Schedule. Computer backup media will be included.

Document Destruction

At the discretion of the Board of Directors, hardcopy of documents may be destroyed by shredding after they have been retained until the end of the Document Retention Schedule.  At the discretion of the Board of Directors, online copies may be destroyed by fire or other proven means to destroy such media after they have been retained until the end of the Document Retention Schedule.

Provision of Documentation for Investigations or Litigation

Documents requested and subpoenaed by legally authorized personnel will be provided within 5 business days. The Chairperson will authorize provision. No documents will be concealed, altered or destroyed with the intent to obstruct the investigation or litigation.