In short, yes!
HMRC are able to carry out their investigation’s years after your submissions. If they are to investigate the amount owed, they will need your records!
You can receive a fine for failure to comply with keeping your records for the required amount of time, so it is important you get this right!
Year’s worth of records may seem a lot and could take up a significant amount of space! However, whilst you can keep paper records, generally speaking digital copies will suffice.
The time you should keep your accounting records for varies dependent upon your business type and the type of records they are. For a quick guide please see below.
|Record type||Length of time to keep records|
|Personal tax||5 years after the 31st January deadline|
|Accounts – Sole trader||5 years after the 31st January deadline|
|Accounts – Limited Company||6 years after company year end|
|Corporation tax||6 years after company year end|
|VAT||6 years after company year end they relate to|
|Payroll||3 years after the 5th April tax year they relate to|
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