Small Business Accounting

How long do I need to keep accounting records for?

By

Chris Andreou

How long do I need to keep accounting records for? guide

Contents

You must keep your records for at least 5 years after the 31 January submission deadline of the relevant tax year.

Setting up a business is an exciting time, but it also brings a lot of responsibility. One of the most important responsibilities is keeping accurate and up to date accounting records. Knowing how long to keep accounting records for is essential to ensure you remain compliant with the law.

In the UK, the law states that businesses must keep accounting records for at least six years. This applies to all businesses regardless of size or industry. The six-year period starts from the end of the last accounting period.

The six-year period is important as it allows HMRC to review and audit your accounts. This is to ensure that all taxes due have been paid and that you are not avoiding paying taxes.

It is important to note that the six-year period is a minimum requirement and you may need to keep records for longer. For example, if you are involved in a legal dispute, you may need to keep records for longer than six years.

It is also important to note that the six-year period applies to all accounting records, including invoices, bank statements, and receipts. These records must be kept in an organised and secure manner.

When it comes to digital records, it is important to note that these must be kept for at least six years. However, it is important to ensure that digital records are kept in a secure manner to ensure that they are not lost or corrupted.

When it comes to physical records, it is important to ensure that these are kept in a secure and organised manner. This includes ensuring that they are stored in a dry and secure environment.

It is also important to note that if you are disposing of records, you must do so in a secure manner. This includes shredding or burning the records to ensure that no one can access the information.

In conclusion, it is essential for businesses in the UK to keep accounting records for at least six years. This is to ensure that all taxes due are paid and that you remain compliant with the law. It is also important to ensure that digital and physical records are kept in a secure and organised manner. If you are disposing of records, you must do so in a secure manner to ensure that no one can access the information.

<p>You must keep your records for at least 5 years after the 31 January submission deadline of the relevant tax year.</p>

Read more of our Small Business Accounting guides:

Business accountant available for free consultation

Get a free accounting consultation

We'll walk through everything you need for starting or switching.