VAT records to be kept

How long do you keep records for?

In general you must retain all books, records and documents relevant to your business for a period of six years.

The retention of certain records, however, is subject to specific time limits.

Where a person waived exemption from Value-Added Tax (VAT) on the letting of property, all records in relation to those lettings must be retained for a period of six years following the cancellation of that waiver.

Where a person makes a claim under VAT legislation or makes an appeal to the Appeal Commissioner, records relevant to the matter in question must be retained for six years or until such later time as the matter at issue is finalised.

Where a matter is under inquiry or investigation by Revenue, records in relation to the matter at issue must be retained for 6 years or until such later time as the matter at issue is finalised.

If you acquired or developed an interest in a property prior to 1 July 2008, on which VAT was charged, you must retain records in respect of that property for a period of six years after you dispose of that interest.

You must obtain written permission from the relevant Revenue office to be permitted retention of documents for a shorter period.

If you issue invoices in paper form, they must be retained in paper form.

Paper records must be stored within the State. Exceptions to this require Revenue agreement and are subject to conditions.

Electronic records must be recorded and stored in accordance with the electronic invoicing rules.

Inspection of records

Revenue has extensive powers to inspect your records. It is an offence if you or your employees fail to co-operate with Revenue in relation to the inspection of your records. Revenue officials will have proof of their identity when visiting your business to inspect your records.