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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Record Keeping: How long must records be retained for: Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax: Person not carrying on a trade, profession or business

A person who does not carry on a trade, profession or business must retain their records, see CH11200, until the latest of

  1. the first anniversary of 31 January next following the year of assessment. For example, the records for the year ending 5 April 2009 must be kept at least until 31 January 2011
  2. the completion of any enquiry into the matters to which the records relate. For example, if your enquiry was closed by way of a final closure notice on 24 September 2011 the records must be kept until at least that date, and
  3. the end of the day on which the enquiry window closes. For a return filed on time this is 12 months after the date it was filed. For a return filed late, it is the first anniversary of the next quarter day falling after the return was filed. There is no difference between paper and online returns. You look at the date the return was filed.

We may give a person a notice to make a return for a tax year or period after the date in 1 above has passed. The person must keep any records that they still have at that time until the later of the dates in 2 or 3 above.

For the purposes of the record keeping requirement, ‘trade’ includes the letting of property. The person must therefore retain the records relating to the letting for the periods set out in CH14530.

If the records relate to the acquisition or improvement of a capital asset, see CH14650.

We can charge a penalty if a person fails to keep or retain records, see EM4650.