Retention of records

I prepare a tax return and have done for years. I’ve never thrown any of my records away, but I’m starting to run out of space! What are HM Revenue & Customs’ requirements?

1st August 2011

Everyone must keep their records for at least twelve months from the due date of the return. So, for the 2010/11 year, returns must be filed by 31 January 2012. Therefore, the relevant records must be retained until at least 31 January 2013.

However, if you have any self employment or rental activities, the related records must be kept for five years from the due date of the return. So following on from the example above, the records would need to be kept until 31 January 2017.

Should your return be submitted late one year, you will need to keep the records for the year until the later of:

  • five years after the normal filing deadline
  • fifteen months after the date you sent your tax return

If you would like to discuss this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact your local TaxAssist Accountant.

By Jo Nockels

Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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