Keeping self-employed tax records
22/04/2021

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 2019-20 tax year where online filing was due by 31 January 2021, you must keep your records until at least the end of January 2026. 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. 


About Us

We are chartered accountants and registered auditors established in 1946, we have been based in Staplefield near Haywards Heath since 2004. With a client base throughout the southeast, our location is the focal point between Crawley, Horsham and Haywards Heath and Brighton.

Find out more...

Legal

The information contained on this website is provided by Carter Nicholls Ltd for general guidance and is aimed to offer the user general information only. Before making any decision or taking action, you should seek professional advice from a professional from Carter Nicholls or another qualified professional.

Read more....

Contact Us

Carter Nicholls Limited
Victoria House, Stanbridge Park, Staplefield Lane
Staplefield
West Sussex
RH17 6AS

info@carternicholls.co.uk
01444 401440

JUMP TO TOP