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HMRC internal manual

Air Passenger Duty

HM Revenue & Customs
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Auditing APD traders: How long must aircraft operators keep records?

APD account and supplementary records

Aircraft operators are required to retain all records and supporting documents for a period of 6 years. Failure to keep or present accounts and records to us will render the aircraft operator liable to a penalty (see APD5400) The APD account must be retained for a minimum of 6 years. However, if an airline requests that supplementary records be destroyed at an earlier date, you should ensure that an assurance visit has been carried out for the period for which the records are to be destroyed.Dependent on the assurance gained from the visit you can agree that those records can bedestroyed. An agreement will also need to be made at this time on the retention period for future records.

All decisions and future agreements should be notified to the trader in writing and a copy of the letter retained in the traders’ file.

Special accounting scheme records

These records must normally be retained for six years but you may reduce this in individual cases at your discretion. The period of retention should be agreed as part of the special scheme.

It may not be possible for the trader to retain all coupons used in the sample or the calculation of the scheme - in which case the accuracy of the sample will have to be checked during the sampling period, while all the coupons are still available.