How Long To Keep Self Assessment Tax Records UK

How Long To Keep Self Assessment Tax Records for Individuals?
Self-employed individuals or those required to submit a Self Assessment need to keep their self assessment tax records for at least five years after the 31 January deadline of the relevant tax year.

As an example if you filed your 2019-20 tax returns ready for the relevant deadline on 31 January 2021, you’ll need to keep your records until 31 January 2026.


How Long To Keep Self Assessed Tax Records For Limited Companies?
If you run a limited company and need to file a company tax return. You will need to keep your accounting records for longer – six years from the end of the last company year they relate to, starting from the end of your current accounting period.

For example, if the accounting period ends on 31 December 2019, then you’ll need to keep the records until 31 December 2025.


How Long To Keep Self Assessment Tax Records For Employers?
Employers will follow the same time frame as limited companies however there are additional responsibilities. As an employer you will need to retain your PAYE records for three years, starting from the end of the tax year that they relate to.

For example, if the accounting period ends on 31 December 2019, then you’ll need to keep the records until 31 December 2022.

This will include the salary details for all employees, as well as deductions that you have made such as Income Tax and pension contributions etc.


Are There Exceptions To Keeping Records Longer?
There are certainly some situations when limited companies need to keep records for longer, if:

  • the company has purchased an item that will last more than six years (like machinery and heavy equipment)
  • the company tax return was submitted late
  • HMRC is investigating your company tax return


Why is Good Record Keeping Important?
What’s the benefit of practicing good record keeping?

Aside from your legal tax obligations there are a multiple reasons why it’s a beneficial that your paperwork is organised. For example, if you need to review a past transaction and need to produce said document or receipt easily when required.

You can either keep your records in paper form or through the use of an online accounting software. If opting to keep your records digitally, make to create backups.

With whichever method of record keeping you decide. Ensure they are accurate and easy for you to access. With inaccurate tax records, you may end up accidentally incurring penalties.

It’s also worth keeping original records so that if HMRC decides investigate your submission, you can provide a comprehensive accounting of yourself and your company’s finances.


Which Records Do I Need To Keep As An Individual?
These will depend on what taxes are involved but in general, you should keep the record of any receipts you get and any other documents you’ve prepared that you’ll use to complete your self-assessment. Here are some of the documents you will need to keep.

  • Your bank statements
  • Your credit card statements
  • Any documents with financial information from a second job
  • Any documents with financial information from your business
  • Any documents with financial information from any other sources of income
  • Any receipts and payslips from work
  • Any other relevant documents including investments, savings, childcare statements

It also worth holding onto historic documents dated several years back. as there may be a situation where you need to produce them.


Which Records Do I Need To Keep As A Limited Company?
As a limited company u should retain any records or documents that you received or prepared to complete your Company Tax Returns or Self Assessment Tax Returns. This includes:

Your business’s accounting records
This can include details of assets, liabilities, income, and expenditure

Your business records
This can include bank statements and details of all purchases and expenses

Your VAT records
This can include all invoices processed and received, VAT receipts for expenses you’ve reclaimed

We have a separate guide where you can learn more about limited companies self assessment.


Self Assessment Tax Records Keeping Tips
When preparing for your self assessment, it is best to practice good record keeping to help smooth this process over the long term. Here are some of our tips to record keeping:

  • Keep your personal and business bank expenses separate
  • Consider creating a business account for all dedicated business expenses
  • Reconcile your accounts at least once a month
  • Once a month check if your income and expenditure records need to match up with your financial statements
  • Spend time creating and maintaining your record filing system – you can break your paperwork down by year, quarter or month, depending on what works for yourself and your business


Can I Hire A Self Assessment Accountant?
Yes, you can! Our team of tax and self assessment accountants are experts in UK tax legislation.

Through MJ Kane, you can be assured your self assessment tax return is filed correctly and timely whether you are an individual or a director of a limited company. A professional accountant can ensure your are only liable for the correct amount of taxed owed.

You can call our team on 028 9335 0290 or use the form at the end to submit an enquiry.


Why Should I Hire A Self Assessment Accountant?

Save time and hassle
Completing a company tax return and self assessment form requires an intensive amount of time and record keeping to be able to complete it properly. Outsourcing this process to a self assessment accountant can save time that can invested elsewhere such as your business or family.

Avoid frustration and confusion
Like any tax issues, it takes time to work your way around the system and understand what is required from you. A self assessment accountant can help simplify this process.

Avoid potential fines or late submissions
Our self assessment accountants ensure that your form is submitted accurately so there are no risks of receiving fines or the attention of HMRC when filled incorrectly. We’ll also ensure to have effective time keeping so that everything is done well before any deadlines.

Avoid mistakes and misinformation
Filling it out correctly can be confusing, especially if you are new to all this. Mistakes can be made, and these can be costly. A self assessment accountant will review and ensure all information is correct before submission.

Be up to date on tax legislations
Tax legislation changes all the time, and our self assessment accountant are keep up-to-date with it so you don’t have to

Get potential savings
An experienced self assessment accountant will know where to find deductions so you could reduce your tax bill legally. There’s also the risk of paying too much tax if you fill in your Self-Assessment form yourself. When you use an accountant you may be able to save more money than you spend on the service, which could be hundreds of pounds or more.

Professional record keeping
A self assessment accountant can help you to organise your files to make the process easier and quicker in the next tax year. Our accountants can also provide tips on managing your finances to make record keeping and bookkeeping easier.


Why MJ Kane For Your Self Assessment Accountant
Over 8000 satisfied clients
In over 30 countries
60+ industrial experience
Your Own Dedicated Accountant
Competitive Quotes
Small Business Experts
No-Hassle Solution
Error-Free Accounting
In house experts for all accounting needs


You can get started with our Self Assessment Accountant Services by arranging a call back with our team on the form below.

Alternatively, for urgent queries please call us at:

Tel: 028 9335 0290

Self Assessment FAQs

What Do I Pay Taxes On?

  • Money you earn from employment
  • Profits you make if you’re self-employed – including from services you sell through websites or apps
  • Some state benefits
  • Most pensions, including state pensions, company and personal pensions and retirement annuities
  • Rental income (unless you’re a live-in landlord and get less than the rent a room limit)
  • Benefits you get from your job
  • Income from a trust

What types of businesses do MJ Kane Accountants serve?

MJ Kane specialises in serving serves small and medium-sized businesses of all kinds (sole-trade, limited, partnership, contractor, charity etc..), but we are best known for our expertise in these industries:

  • Professional services – Real estate agents, insurance agents, financial advisors and more
  • Personal service contractors – HVAC technicians, plumbers, electricians, painters, mechanics and more
  • Retail – Clothing store, e-commerce sellers, convenience stores, coffee shops and more
  • Health and wellness – Gyms, salons, spas, dentists and more
  • Restaurants – Quick-service restaurants, fine dining restaurants, coffee shops, caterers, specialty food providers and more

I am a Sole Trader, do I need to complete a Self Assessment?

Sole Traders are required to submit a self-assessment tax return.

I am a Partner in a partnership, do I need to complete a Self Assessment?

Partnerships are required to submit a partnership tax return, and each partner must also submit a self-assessment tax return.

I am a Director of a limited company, do I need to complete a Self Assessment?

Limited Companies are required to submit an annual return, CT600 company accounts, and directors are all required to complete a self-assessment tax return.

How Will Your Self Assessment Accountant Help Me?

Through our tax return accountants service, we will work to minimise any tax owed while preparing your Self Assessment. Our service is tailored for each individual but depending on your circumstances we can also claim for relevant expenses, allowances and tax reliefs on your tax return. We also offer a one-off tax advice where we can help you understand your UK personal tax situation.

How Long Do I Keep Tax Records In The UK

For individuals this should be a minimum of 5 years.

For companies this should be a minimum of 6 years.

You should ideally have a dedicated filing system for all records of historic years to ensure you can access any document easily.

How Do I Claim Tax Relief on Self Assessment?

Within the self assessment form there’s a series of supplementary pages, this is particularly important if you’re self-employed or receive income from another source – you’ll  use this section to help claim tax back from HMRC.

Read more about how to claim tax relief on your self assessment

Do I need to complete a self assessment form if I am small business owner?

Yes. Small business owners are considered self employed persons and are required to complete a self assessment form so HMRC can tax earnings appropriately.

Learn more about self assessment for small business owners.

What Do I Need For My Self Assessment Form?

Before starting your self assessment tax return, ensure you have the following

  • My PIN
  • My UTR number
  • My Gateway ID

Alongside this, you’ll need record of your income and self assessment records for tax relief. We have procured a complete self assessment checklist to help complete your self assessment form.

What Happens If I Fill A Self Assessment Wrong?

You may face certain financial penalties if you submit incorrect information alongside the actual tax owed. There are also penalties for late submissions.

We cover this through our How to do a self assessment guide.

How Long Do I Keep Tax Records In The UK

For individuals this should be a minimum of 5 years.

For companies this should be a minimum of 6 years.

You should ideally have a dedicated filing system for all records of historic years to ensure you can access any document easily.