Clients often ask how long they should keep records for as these vary across the taxes and type of entities, so below is a brief guide.
Self Employment and Partnership
All bookkeeping records and supporting documentation should be kept for 5 years after the filing deadline.
Eg. For the 20/21 tax year which is due by 31/01/22 – records should be kept until 31/01/27
There are two different requirements for companies.
All records and supporting documentation needs to be kept for 6 years from the end of the financial year.
Eg. For a 31/03/21 financial year end, which is due by 31/12/21 – records should be kept until 31/03/27
However any Company Secretarial paperwork (board minutes, registers, etc) should be kept for 10 years
We would suggest that any documentation such as large fixed asset purchases, or details of share issues should be kept indefinitely.
Employer Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
Records need to be kept for 3 years after the end of the tax year
Eg. For 20/21 records will need to be kept until 05/04/24
Note that any records relating to National Minimum Wage and Auto (Re)Enrolment should be kept for 6 years rather than 3 years.
VAT records regardless of legal entity is for 6 years from the end of the VAT period.
We would suggest keeping them for 6 years after the business year end to keep record disposal on an annual basis
Records such as your personal self assessment tax return and any supporting documentation (P60s/P11ds, interest, dividends, etc) should be kept for at least 22 months after the end of the tax year.
Eg. For the 20/21 tax year which is due by 31/01/22 – records should be kept until 31/01/23
We would recommend keeping these for longer though, especially if you change jobs regularly and have issues with tax codes.
If you are a landlord, we suggest keeping details of property purchases and refurbishments for as long as you own the property.
With Making Tax Digital commencing soon for Income Tax, we recommend you begin digitising your records now – please let us know if you need assistance with this.