How long must I retain my books and records?

According to HMRC rules, if you are in business, you must keep records of;

  • all sales and income;
  • all business expenses;
  • VAT records if you’re registered for VAT;
  • PAYE records if you employ people, and records about your personal income.

It might sound a lot to keep on top of, and alongside the requirement to retain certain records for differing lengths of time things can become confusing.  To help you out, here are the length of time certain records should be retained;

  • VAT – records must be kept for six years although sometimes HMRC will allow a shorter period. Any request made to keep records for a shorter period must be accompanied by an explanation of why it is not considered practical to keep the records.
  • PAYE – HMRC recommends that payroll records be kept for at least three years after the income tax year to which they relate.
  • Tax records for individuals and partnerships – if related to property income or self-employed income these must be kept until at least the fifth anniversary of the filing date for the tax return. Income relating to employments and investment income must be kept for at least one year after the normal filing date.
  • Company records – under corporation tax self-assessment rules, accounting records must be preserved for six years from the end of the accounting period.
  • Government grants – documents relating to Government grants must be kept for four years from receipt of the grant. Where grant monies are still being received, no documents should be destroyed without consent from the relevant Government department.

For a full and detailed list of requirements, please check the governments records https://www.gov.uk/running-a-limited-company/company-and-accounting-records


This article is for general guidance only. It provides an outline, and may not include points which are important to your situation. You should not depend on this blog without taking advice based on the full facts of your case. The information given was correct at the time of publication.

DID YOU FIND THIS USEFUL?

Share it with your network:  

Want more great content?
Sign up to our newsletter

Follow us

Tweets by @CHW-accounting

CHW-Accounting
@chw-accounting


Twitter: chw_accounting

WHAT'S THE NEWS?

Grab a biscuit and a brew and read our latest news.

4 August 2020

‘Amnesty’ if you’ve claimed too much from the Coronavirus...

by

The Government has published further guidance in respect to compliance and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), with specific guidance for businesses who find they have…


Read more >

3 August 2020

Further details of Job Retention Bonus unveiled

by

Following the Chancellor’s announcement on 8 July of a Job Retention Bonus, the Government unveiled further details of the scheme on Friday. Purpose of the scheme…


Read more >

30 July 2020

£20 million in new grants to boost recovery of...

by

Thousands of smaller businesses in England are set to benefit from £20 million of new Government funding to help them recover from the effects of the…


Read more >

22 July 2020

Free credit control review

by

Here at CHW, we are always looking at ways to increase our service offering to ensure that you continue to get full value for money and…


Read more >

15 July 2020

Mini budget highlights

by

Last week, Rishi Sunak pledged to “protect, support and create jobs” and get pubs and restaurants “bustling again” as he unveiled his ‘mini-Budget’ to kick-start the…


Read more >

YOUR CHALLENGES

No matter what your challenge is, we’ve probably dealt with it before.



Need an Accountant?

Get in touch >


Need an Accountant?

Get in touch >


Tax issues?

Find out more >


Tax issues?

Find out more >


Trying to grow your business?

We can help >


Trying to grow your business?

We can help >


Managing cashflow?

We can help >


Managing cashflow?

We can help >


Starting a business?

We can help >


Starting a business?

We can help >


Looking for funding?

Need help with funding? >


Looking for funding?

Need help with funding? >


Buying or selling a business?

We can help >


Buying or selling a business?

We can help >


Adopt the cloud?

We can help >


Adopt the cloud?

We can help >


What else can we do for you?

We can help >


What else can we do for you?

We can help >
CONTACT US

Get in touch, no hard sell, just a brew, a biscuit and a chat.