Going paperless

The available space at my business premises is starting to shrink, and I was wondering if I could scan in all of my bookkeeping records (invoices, receipts, etc) and then destroy the originals. Would this be okay with HMRC?

4th July 2014

For most businesses, going paperless will mean:

  • Using bookkeeping software that generates electronic versions of their sales invoices. It should also simultaneously update your bookkeeping records
  • Scanning in your purchase invoices from suppliers

HMRC will allow this for both VAT and other areas of tax, such as PAYE. However, the scanned document must be “faithful” to the original one and not doctored or converted into another file type.

Yu must ensure that your digital storage is safe and secure though- with backups being taken if necessary. Furthermore, the records should still have some sort of filing system in order that each document still may be easily traced and identified.

Please note, HMRC insist that dividend vouchers and bank interest certificates are still kept in hard copy. 

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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