We regularly receive inquiries about how long documents should be stored.

In terms of the Income Tax Act and Value Added Tax Act, tax payers should keep documents in their original form or electronic format as prescribed by die Commissioner.

The retention periods for specific documents are:

5 years (from date return received from Commissioner):

  • Records kept by a tax payer who has rendered a return, including: ledgers, cash books, journals, cheque books, bank statements, deposit slips, paid cheques, invoices, stock lists, other books of accounts, electronic representations of information
  • Records relating to taxable capital gain or assessed capital loss, including:
  • agreement for acquisition, disposal or lease of asset
  • details of asset transferred into a trust
  • copies of valuations used in determining the taxable capital
  • gain or assessed capital loss
  • invoices or other evidence of payment records such as bank statements and paid cheques relating to any costs claimed in respect of the acquisition, improvement or disposal of any asset
  • details supporting the proportional use of an asset for both private and business purposes
  • details of any continuous absence of more than six months from a primary residence, as contemplated in the Eight Schedule.
  • Records of importation of goods and documents, including: bill of entry, documents prescribed by Customs and Excise Act, receipt for payment of import tax
  • Information relating to: charts and codes of accounts, accounting instruction manual, system and programme documentation which describes the accounting system used in the various accounting periods.
  • Documentary proof substantiating the zero rating of supplies.

7 years

  • Any documents, accounts, books, writings, records or other information required to be retained, e.g. notices and minutes of all shareholders’ meetings and resolutions passed at meetings
  • Copies of reports presented at the annual general meeting of the company
  • Record of directors and past directors
  • Minutes and resolutions of directors’ meetings

15 years

  • Accounting records, including supporting schedules to accounting records and ancillary accounting records (not the supporting invoices, etc. – ee below)
  • Annual financial statements, including annual accounts and the report of the accounting officer.



  • Registration certificate
  • Memorandum of Incorporation and alterations or amendments thereto
  • Securities register and uncertificated securities register
  • Register of company secretary and auditors

Close Corporations:

  • Founding statement
  • Amended founding statement
  • Minutes books
  • Resolutions passed at meetings.