Q: I’ve just started my own business having been made redundant from my last job. I’ve registered with Revenue as self-employed, but could you tell me what my obligations are with regards to record-keeping?
A: Self employed persons have an obligation to ensure that adequate records are maintained for the business. These records must show details relating to the following:
- All money received and paid by the business
- All sales and purchases of the business
- The assets and liabilities of the business
These records must be maintained for at least 6 years. Revenue can request access to these records as part of a Revenue audit or investigation.
Previously original paper copies of these records had to be kept unless they were originally received in electronic form. Scanned copies of the invoices were not acceptable. However, Revenue noted on the 8th December 2010 that records could be stored electronically. Revenue said they would issue full details on this but have not, to date, published this information.
Ultimately, the most important factor is that you keep accurate, timely records. So these could be anything from manual cashbooks, to computerised spreadsheets, to a sophisticated computerised bookkeeping package.
Penalties will apply if a self-employed taxpayer does not maintain the above records.
For advice on finding the right bookkeeping solution for you and more detail on your obligations, please feel free to contact your local TaxAssist Accountant.