Business records if self-employed

If you are self-employed as a sole trader or as a partner in a business partnership, then you must keep suitable business records as well as separate personal records of your income. For tax purposes, the business records must be held for at least

If you are self-employed as a sole trader or as a partner in a business partnership, then you must keep suitable business records as well as separate personal records of your income. 

For tax purposes, the business records must be held for at least 5 years from the 31 January submission deadline for the relevant tax year. For example, for the 2021-22 tax year, when online filing was due by 31 January 2023, you must keep your records until at least the end of January 2028. In certain situations, such as when a return is submitted late, the records must be held for longer. 

If you are self-employed, you should also keep a record of:

  • all sales and income
  • all business expenses
  • VAT records if you’re registered for VAT
  • PAYE records if you employ people
  • records about your personal income
  • grant details if you claimed through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme because of coronavirus.

You don't need to keep the vast majority of your records in their original form. If you prefer, you can keep a copy of most of them in an alternative format as long as they can be recovered in a readable and uncorrupted format. For example, a scanned PDF document. 

If your records are no longer available for any reason, you must try and recreate them letting HMRC know if the figures are estimated or provisional. There are penalties for failing to keep proper records or for keeping inaccurate records. 

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Tue, 18 Jul 2023 00:00:00 +0100

Latest INSIGHTS

Check out our latest Insights for useful accounting tips and information.

Multiple Dwellings Relief for SDLT

It was announced as part of the Spring Budget 2023 that Multiple Dwellings Relief (MDR) was being abolished. This change has now come into effect for transactions which complete, or substantially perform on or after 1 June 2024.

The MDR relief

Read More

Self-assessment payments on account

Self-assessment taxpayers are usually required to pay their income tax liabilities in three instalments each year. The first two payments on account are due on 31 January during the tax year and 31 July following the tax year end date.

These

Read More

Non-resident UK property sales

There are specials rules that apply to UK property sales by non-residents. Since 6 April 2020 non-residents have needed to report and pay any non-resident Capital Gains Tax (CGT) due if they have sold or disposed of:

residential UK property or

Read More