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How long do I need to keep VAT records for?

Q. How long do I need to keep VAT records for?

A: VAT-registered businesses must:

– keep records of sales and purchases;
– keep a separate summary of VAT; and
– issue correct VAT invoices

In the UK, VAT records must be kept for at least six years (or ten years if the trader uses the HMRC VAT mini-one-stop-shop (VAT MOSS) service. VAT records may be kept on paper, electronically or as part of a software program (e.g. book-keeping software) – but whichever method is used, the records must be accurate, complete and readable. HMRC can visit businesses to inspect record-keeping and impose penalties if the records are not in order.

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