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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Record Keeping: How long must records be retained for: VAT: Electronic cash register and EPOS records

Electronic Cash Registers (ECR) and Electronic Point of Sale equipment (EPOS) are considered to be computers with a constant memory capable of providing a considerable amount of information on their audit and journal rolls, electronic journals and summary reports (Z and periodic ZZ).

Audit and journal records show each transaction and all corrections as they have taken place. They are thus vital records supporting the credibility of accounting information shown on the resulting summary reports. This consideration may influence the retention period you allow. There is a 4-year minimum retention period for ECR and EPOS records, see CH15400.

You can exercise discretion in allowing concessions for till rolls and electronic journals. Full till rolls should be kept for 6 years, or a minimum 4 years where a concession is requested. Where “Z” prints are taken these should be kept for the full 6 years, or as long a period as is practical. All Z reports should be consecutively numbered, dated and timed (a capability of all ECR/EPOS equipment).

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

This guidance is subject to any different requirements set out in a special scheme, see CH12400