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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Record Keeping: How long must records be retained for: Excise duties

A revenue trader must normally keep records for 6 years. However, if this causes storage problems, involves undue expense or causes other difficulties, they can ask HMRC for approval to keep some records for a shorter period. They must always obtain HMRC’s agreement if they wish to destroy any records that are less than 6 years old.

From 1 April 2011, HMRC no longer has to give approval for records to be preserved in alternative formats.

CEMA79/S118A