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How Long Do You Keep Business Records?

When it comes to keeping business records the question is often asked what should be kept and for how long.

Tax records include any information or document about sales, income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Records can be paper-based or stored electronically. 

Examples of paper records:

  • Cashbook, journals, ledgers
  • Wagebook
  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Cheque books / deposit books
  • Lists of debtors and creditors
  • Bank statements / dividend statements
  • Lists of assets and liabilities
  • Depreciation schedules
  • Profit and loss statements
  • Balance sheets
  • Till tapes

Examples of electronic records:

  • Accounting software
  • Payroll system
  • Spreadsheets
  • Scanned invoices
  • Online bank statements
  • Online interest and dividend statements
  • Invoices received by email
  • Lists of assets and liabilities
  • EFTPOS transactions

Records must be kept for seven tax years. Electronic records should be backed up, and kept in a secure place. If you change to new software check that you can still read your old records using the new system.

Keep all your records throughout the year. Everything is important. This includes records of cash and non-cash sales and expenses. All records, including those in electronic form, must be kept for seven tax years.

Your records must be in English unless you get approval to use another language.

Gilligan and Company Limited

PO Box 9606
Auckland 1149

Level 5
393 Khyber Pass
Auckland 1023
New Zealand

Ph +64 9 522 7888
Fax +64 9 522 7893

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