How to Organise Your Tax Documents

When it comes to the documents you need for your Self-Assessment or Corporation Tax returns, it is good practice to organise and maintain them in an orderly fashion to help you and your accountant and tax advisers, as well as HMRC, should they need to know anything.

If you are starting a business, or planning to begin renting out property, organising your tax documents will help keep you on the right track by maintaining good records from the start.

So let’s take a closer look at how to organise your tax documents.

What records should I keep?

Anything that will be required for your Self-Assessment or Corporation Tax return will need to be kept.

Precisely what you will need to keep will depend on various factors. Here are some examples of the records you should be keeping…

If you are claiming personal allowances, deductions or reliefs:

  • Gift Aid payments
  • Personal pension plan certificates and statements
  • Enterprise Investment Scheme forms
  • Marriage certificate (if you are claiming Married Couple’s Allowance)
  • Bank statements
  • Certificates of loan interest
  • Expenses receipts
  • Records of living overseas if you claim to be non-resident

If you are a director, office holder or employee:

  • P60
  • P45
  • P46
  • Annual pension statement
  • Payslips and certificates of any foreign tax paid on employment income
  • P11D or P9D for all employers
  • Information on any share options awarded or exercised or any share participation arrangements
  • Details of any tips or gratuities
  • Details of taxable receipts or benefits not taxed in wages
  • Certificates for any Taxed Award Schemes
  • Details of any redundancy or termination payments
  • PAYE Coding Notices
  • Details of Statutory Maternity, Paternity or Adoption Pay and Sick Pay

If you are claiming for expenses or reductions in benefits in kind:

  • Mileage details
  • Foreign travel itineraries
  • Receipts, credit card statements and vouchers
  • Purchase records and leasing agreements for any equipment for which you are making claims against employment income

Other tax documents you may need to keep could include:

  • Bank and building society statements or passbooks
  • Statements of interest or other income received, e.g. annuity investments
  • Tax deduction certificates from your bank
  • Dividend vouchers
  • Unit trust tax vouchers
  • Life insurance chargeable even certificates
  • Details of any trust income
  • Details of any large sums used to fund investments, e.g. an inheritance or windfall
  • Share option certificates
  • Asset purchase, sale, lease or exchange contracts for Capital Gains Tax transactions and depreciation calculations
  • Details of assets received as a gift
  • Loss or gains valuations

These are just some of the many tax documents you may need to keep. If you are in any doubt, speak to your accountant or financial planner and they will confirm for you exactly what you should be retaining.

If you run a business or are self-employed, then you will need to set up an efficient record keeping system, as well as keep evidence of all income and expenditure associated with your business or trade.

You will also need to keep supporting records, for example bank statements and invoices to show your sources of income, as well as record all funds withdrawn from the business bank account which are for personal use, and anything paid into the business from personal funds.

If you are an employer, you will also need to maintain proof of any deductions for wages, payments and benefits relating to employees, and any payments to subcontractors.

You can learn more about keeping business records on the HMRC website:

How long should I retain my tax documents?

Individuals who are not running a business, including trustees of a settlement or the personal representative of a deceased person, are required to keep their tax documents for 22 months from the end of the tax year to which they relate.

If you are self-employed or in a business partnership, then you must keep your records for at least five years from 31 January following the tax year that the tax return relates to.

Companies, including members’ clubs, associations and societies that are subject to Corporation Tax, must keep their accounting records for six years from the end of the applicable accounting period.

What if my tax documents are lost or destroyed?

If you lose any of your records or they are destroyed and you cannot replace them, you must inform HMRC immediately and do your best to recreate them.

If you find that you have to use provisional figures within your tax return, then you will also need to let HMRC know, and then submit actual figures as soon as you are able to do so.

Need to know more about how to organise your tax documents?

The importance of keeping your tax documents in order cannot be over-emphasised. It is also vitally important to take professional advice when dealing with any tax matters, so that you can optimise your personal tax allowance.

At Partridge Muir & Warren, we have been providing financial planning services across Surrey and the South East since 1969. We offer an all-encompassing financial planning service, courtesy of a team of highly skilled chartered financial advisers, investment administrators, tax advisers and legal specialists. You’ll find every one of us committed to protecting your wealth, and helping you reach your vital financial goals.

We are able to work alongside your accountant, if you have one, to help you organise your tax documents, maximise your allowances and get your affairs in order.

To discuss your requirements, you are welcome to get in touch.