Document Retention Policy

Record Retention and Destruction Policy

Assistance League of Northern Virginia – a chapter of Assistance League



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 Assistance League of Northern Virginia in connection with the transaction of corporate 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). 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 Assistance League’s operations by promoting efficiency and freeing up valuable storage space.

 Document Retention

Assistance League follows the document retention procedures outlines 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.

(See the document below to view the Document Retention Table)

Electronic Documents and Records
Electronic documents shall 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 e-mail message, the message should be printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file or moved to an “archive” computer file folder. Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.

Emergency Planning

Assistance League’s records will be stored in a safe, secure and accessible manner. Documents and financial files that are essential to keeping Assistance League operating in an emergency will be duplicated or backed up at least every month and maintained off-site.

Document Destruction
The chapter Treasurer 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.

This Record Retention and Destruction Policy was last approved on May 9, 2012.

If further assistance is needed or for any questions, please contact the chapter as follows:


Assistance League of Northern Virginia Email:

P.O. Box 209

Herndon, Virginia 20172-0209

Document Retention Schedule




File Category
Retention Period
Corporate Records Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation Permanent
Corporate resolutions Permanent
Board, regular and special meeting minutes Permanent
Conflict-of-interest disclosure forms 4 years
Finance and Administration Financial statements (audited or reviewed) Permanent
Auditor management letters Permanent
Journal entries Permanent
Payroll records 10 years
Check register and checks 10 years
Cancelled checks for important payments:   purchase of property, taxes, special contracts; attach check to pertinent papers Permanent
Bank deposits and statements 10 years
Charitable organizations registration statements (filed with [State] Attorney General) 10 years
Chart of accounts 10 years
Depreciation schedules 10 years
Inventories of materials and supplies 10 years
Expense reports 10 years
General ledgers and end-of-year financial statements Permanent
Accounts payable ledger 10 years
Accounts receivable ledger 10 years
Investment performance reports 10 years
Investment consultant reports 10 years
Equipment files and maintenance records 10 years after disposition
Contracts and agreements Expiration date plus

10 years

Correspondence – general 4 years
Correspondence – legal and important matters Permanent
Insurance Records Policies Permanent
Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies, etc. Permanent
Fire inspection records 10 years
Safety (OSHA) reports 10 years
Real Estate Deeds Permanent
Leases Expiration date plus 10 years
Mortgages, purchase and security agreements Expiration date plus 10 years
Tax IRS exemption determination and related correspondence Permanent
IRS Form 990’s Permanent
Withholding tax statements 10 years
Correspondence with legal counsel or accountants, not otherwise listed 10 years after return is filed
Communications One set of all communication documents kept on-site and one kept off-site
Press releases Permanent
Annual reports Permanent (5 copies)
Other publications 10 years
Photos/Photo releases 10 years
Press clippings 10 years
Donor Services Correspondence – acknowledgment of gifts and grant requests Permanent
Donor fund statements Permanent
Philanthropic Programs Program selection reports Permanent
Scholarship grant records 10 years
Agreements with other organizations Expiration date plus 10 years
Human Resources Employee personnel files Permanent or 10 years after termination
Retirement and pension records including Summary Plan Descriptions (ERISA) Permanent
Employee medical records Permanent
Employee handbooks Permanent
Workers comp claims 10 years after settlement
Employee time records 10 years
Employee orientation and training materials 10 years after use ends


Employment offer letter 10 years after all obligations end
Employment applications 4 years
IRS Form I-9 (store separate from personnel file) Greater of 1 year after end of service, or 4 years
Resumes 1 year
Technology Software licenses and support agreements 10 years after all obligations end
Library Other organizations’ annual reports 2 years
Directories and periodicals 2 years
General Administration Correspondence – general 10 years
Correspondence – legal and important matters Permanent


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