Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

How to do a compliance check: records: how long records should be kept

The periods for which records need to be retained is set in the primary law and varies across the taxes.

For detailed information see

  • CH14500 for income tax and capital gains tax
  • CH14600 for corporation tax
  • CH14650 for capital gains and losses
  • CH14700 for PAYE and Construction Industry Scheme
  • CH14900 for direct taxes claims not included in a return
  • CH14930 for insurance premium tax
  • CH14940 for stamp duty land tax
  • CH14950 for aggregates levy climate change levy and landfill tax
  • CH15100 for VAT
  • CH14990 for excise duties.

The greatest cost associated with records tends to be their creation, but retention costs can also be significant. As a concession, we can allow reduced retention periods, see CH216000.