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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Records: bankruptcy: disposal of bankrupt’s records by the official receiver

The SA legislation includes a requirement that records of business taxpayers be kept for a period of 5 years from the normal filing date of the SA return to which they relate. However, to alleviate the burden on Official Receivers, HMRC has agreed a clearance procedure with the Insolvency Service. This agreement will, in most cases, allow an Official Receiver to dispose of records much sooner than would otherwise be the case.

More information regarding destruction of records can be found in the Insolvency Manual at INS1119.

Where an Official Receiver wishes to dispose of records of a bankrupt individual earlier than permitted by statute

  • He or she will issue, as a clearance application, a standard ‘Destruction of Records’ letter to the office with responsibility for Processing work
  • Check SA Notes for evidence of an ongoing enquiry. If there is no evidence, note the record that a clearance application has been received and dispose of the letter appropriately. The Official Receiver will destroy the records after 3 months have elapsed since issue of the letter
  • Where there is evidence of an enquiry for the period to which the records relate, the tear off slip must be returned to the Official Receiver within 3 months of the issue date of the letter