Your Business's Books and Records - how long do you have to retain?

How long do you have to keep the books and records for a financial year or for a particular project or transaction.

Well in general, if you are operating a business, you have to retain proper books and records for a period of 6 years after the completion of the financial year or on the completion of transactions or projects to which the books and records relate. This is outlined in Section 886 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, which outlines the obligations on a person to keep proper books and records so that correct returns of income may be made to the Revenue Commissioners.

However, a recent change was introduced in the Finance Act 2014 (Section 92), which amends the 6 year rule to provide that where a transaction, act or operation is the subject of an investigation, inquiry, claim, assessment, appeal or proceedings which has already commenced within that 6 year period, then the relevant books and records must be retained until such time as the investigation, inquiry, claim, assessment, appeal or proceedings has been concluded in full. Section 66 Finance Act 2014 made a similar amendment to the VAT code.

I hope this was useful and any questions, you can contact me.

Timothy Kelliher Chartered Accountant

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Timothy Kelliher & Company Limited

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Lewis Road,


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