- Over-saving records. Storing documents indefinitely (or longer than needed) not only clutters up your space, it can create legal burdens. If an organization becomes involved in a legal dispute, the task of going through all those records to produce material can become a huge and expensive challenge.
- Failing to retain records. There are legal requirements for certain records, particularly related to taxes and employees.
What to save and what to toss?
The legal requirements of what organizations should keep and how long to keep them vary and are regulated by different branches of government. Fortunately, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits has a sample records retention policy.
The IRS publication on record keeping for individuals can no longer be found on their website; it has probably been pulled for updating during this turbulent time. It had a lot of good suggestions so I have archived it on the North Star NP HERE. Surprisingly, the requirement for saving tax returns is only 3 years, according to the IRS.