How Long to Keep Financial Records

HOW LONG DOES THE CHURCH NEED TO KEEP VARIOUS CHURCH RECORDS?

 

Each church is unique and different. However, good record-keeping is an issue facing every church. How long does a church keep a certain type of document? The answer varies, but the following chart is a general guideline to assist churches in the minimum length of time to keep a record. The length of time in keeping a document depends on the historical interest, possible liability issues, and tax concerns. Depending on the church’s needs, records might need to be kept longer than suggested.

 

RECORD

MINIMUM TIME TO KEEP THE RECORD

Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, and By-Laws

Permanent

Church Minutes

Permanent

501(c)(3) Determination Letter to indicate Church’s Non-profit Status from the Georgia Baptist Convention

Permanent

General Ledger Books and Church Financial Statements

Permanent

Employee’s Personnel File including the Application, Interview Form, and Reference and Background Checks

Permanent

Federal and State Employer Identification Numbers

Permanent

Form 8274 if the Church elected Exemption from FICA Taxes

Permanent

Bank Statements without Cancelled Checks or Deposit Slips

Permanent

Cancelled Checks and Deposit Slips

10 Years

Invoices and Receipts

10 Years

Annual Contribution Credit Statements

10 Years

W-4, I-9, and New Hire Reporting Form after an Employee leaves Employment

10 Years

Out-Dated Church Personnel and Financial Policies

10 Years

Salary Reduction Agreements of Employees

7 Years

Housing Allowance Designations given to Ministers

7 Years

Form 8282 to report to the Government the sell of Donated Property valued over $5,000

7 Years

Payroll Tax Forms like 941s, 944, W-2s, 1099MISC, and W-3s

7 Years

Form 5578 used by Church Schools to comply with Nondiscrimination Requirements

 

4 Years

Offering Envelopes

3 Years

 

This educational document is intended to provide churches and church financial leaders with current and accurate educational information about the subjects covered.  However, such information is not intended to be sufficient for dealing with a particular legal problem, and the authors and distributors do not warrant or represent its suitability for such purpose. The reader should not rely upon this document as a substitute for independent legal consultation or tax advice.  ©2012, MyFinancialSupport, LLC