There are a lot of documents that small business owners are legally obliged to keep hold of for six years and sometimes more. However, keeping things forever-and-a-day is impractical and can be unnecessary.
The records that you need to keep are subject to change so click on each subtitle to whizz over to the relevant HMRC document so you can find out more. However - in a nutshell:
Records that Employers have to keep
Employers should keep PAYE records for the three complete financial years prior to the current one
(so for example we are currently in tax year 2014-2015 so you should currently hold all PAYE records for 2014 – 2015, 2013-2014, 2012-2013 and 2011-2012).
As an employer you are also legally obliged to keep pay, tax and National Insurance Contribution records. These records should include everything that you are required to detail on an employees payroll card.
Are you in CIS?
If you are a contractor in the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) you are required to keep your CIS
records for three full years in addition to the year you are currently in.
If so you should keep hold of all records you need to calculate the correct level and amount of Corporation Tax.
From time to time you may need to hang on to some records longer than six years. You can find out more about this from the HMRC website.
Records required for VAT Registered companies?
VAT registered businesses are responsible for keeping records of all VAT transactions both incoming and outgoing.
Records to be kept for EU Transactions
Companies that deal with other EU businesses must keep documentation relating to foreign sales or purchases of goods or services, imports or exports outside the European Union (EU) or selling or buying within the EU and VAT on certain postal imports.
As a company Director your responsibilities go even further, stretching into keeping personal account information such as:
Records proving any income from employment
Such as your P45, P60, P11D, certificates for Taxed Award Schemes, information on redundancy or termination payments, tips or gratuities received, benefits in kind, incentive payments and golden hellos.
Benefits and pension records
Interest, dividends or other income from UK savings, investments or trusts. Keep all bank statements, chequebooks and pass books, details of inheritance and trust income.
Income from property
And certification of all foreign income or gains, share save information and share related benefits as well as Capital Gains Tax records.
As you can see there are many types of documents that businesses are under a legal obligation to keep hold of and failure to do so can not only result in incorrect payment of taxes but also in hefty fines. However, if your office space is starting to groan at the mere prospect of the amount of paperwork you need to keep safely filed then bear in mind you could always keep your documents in a self storage facility like Space Station self storage.
We have facilities in self storage facilities in Isleworth, Brentford, Slough and Uxbridge that are conveniently located for businesses west of London and because we have flexible contracts you can adapt the space you need as your business storage requirements change.