Records and minutes
The Income Tax Act and Ontario’s Corporations Act (OCA) require nonprofits to keep records. If you don’t, you may lose your nonprofit or charitable status. This page points you to information on what records you need to keep, where to keep them, and for how long. Resources are not up to date for federal nonprofits.
Notice: This information is not comprehensive. There are other laws that require certain nonprofits and charities to keep additional records. For example, nonprofits that own land must keep special records. To learn more about these and other record keeping requirements, talk to a lawyer.
This blog post explains how long the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) expects you to keep your books and records. Permanent files need to be kept for two years following the date of dissolution. Non-permanent files need to be kept for six years starting from the end of the tax year the files relate to.
Registered charities also have to keep:
The CRA also has more specific requirements on how long and where to keep your records as well as what format to keep them in.
Minutes of meetings
According to Ryan Prendergast (scroll down to p.36) of Carters Professional Corporation, minutes:
- provide a concise record of deliberations and decisions
- inform directors, members and people acting for the organization, for example, employees and volunteers
- inform the courts of decisions made by the organization in future litigation