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What records should I keep for my business?

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Whatever your business, we all need to keep records of our transactions so that we can work out how our business is performing, and to satisfy HMRC’s requirements.

The basic information to keep track of is:

  1. Details of all income
  2. Details of all expenditure
  3. Details of any assets like tools and equipment that have been purchased.
  4. Details of all money you have taken out of your business for personal use, along with details of items  purchased for personal use.
  5. Bank statements. If you don’t have a separate bank account you should keep a careful record of which transactions are business-related, and which are not. It is important that these are not mixed together.


Depending on the business you are running you should keep details of expenditure on :

  1. Goods for resale.
  1. Materials you use for business
  2. Telephone costs
  3. Public liability insurance
  4. Vehicle costs including fuel, MOT, servicing, repairs, insurance, road tax, loan repayments, tolls, parking etc.
  5. Stationery
  6. Postage
  7. Bookkeeping and accountancy
  8. Bank charges
  9. Wages
  10. Business premises rent, gas, electricity, rates, insurance


Ideally your business records should be organised and recorded in some form. Nowadays this usually takes the form of bookkeeping software. We provide free bookkeeping software for our clients, along with free training to get you up and running quickly.

Records should be kept for approximately 5 years after the Return has been sent to HMRC.


For your Tax Return

In addition to business records you will need to keep additional information for your Tax Return each year. This will include:

  1. Details of any income and benefits from employment in the tax year. This will be shown on forms P60, P45, and P11D that were supplied by the employer.
  1. Details of any income from private or state pensions in the tax year. Private pensions are advised on a P60 at the end of each tax year as for employment, but state pension is advised an advance notice supplied before the tax year begins.
  2. Details of any bank interest and share dividends received in the tax year.
  3. Details of any Gift Aid donations made to charities in the tax year.


If you would like assistance with the preparation of your annual accounts Tax Return please contact us.