Search Our Site

Page Navigation

Section Banner

How Long to Keep Church Records

March 15, 2009

Q: We’re doing some housecleaning at church and we have a question about how long we should be keeping our legal and financial records. Is there a recommended time period that a church should hang onto its financial records?

A: This is something each organization needs to decide on its own, says Tim Brennan, the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA’s) treasurer and vice president of finance. He recommends that congregations seek legal counsel locally before discarding records. The firm Pfau England Nonprofit Law offers recommendations on records retention. The general recommendations are to permanently keep agendas and minutes, year-end treasurer’s reports, audit reports, and background checks.

IRS returns and bank and investment statements should be kept seven years. Employee files should be kept for three years after termination. 

[Note: This article was updated on 6.5.14.]

For more information contact

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, June 6, 2014.

Sidebar Content, Page Navigation



Magnify Image

Updated and Popular

Recently Updated

For Newcomers

Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.

Page Navigation