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Do you know how long SARS requires you to keep your company's accounting records?

by , 18 August 2014
You know that the Companies Act and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) say you must keep certain accounting records to be legally compliant.

But did you know, SARS also requires you to keep accounting records?

You must keep these records just in case SARS wants to see them during an audit. Besides that, it's good practice to keep company records - they're the lifeblood of your business.

Take a look at the type of records SARS requires you to keep and the retention periods so you can comply and avoid penalties.


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23 accounting records SARS wants you to keep and how long you must keep them for
 

#1: SARS requires you to keep the following accounting records permanently:
 

  • Memorandum of Incorporation;

  • Major agreements that influence the company significantly i.e. shareholders agreements, purchase agreements for buildings etc;

  • Intellectual property documents;

  • Property documents like deeds and leases;

  • Certificate of name change;

  • Certificate of Incorporation;

  • Share, Minutes and company registers; and

  • Record of trust monies.

That's not all.

#2: You must keep these accounting for fifteen years:
 

  • Books of account;

  • Accounting records including supporting schedules;

  • Fixed asset register; and

  • Annual financial statements.
     

#3: SARS wants you to keep your paid cheques and bills of exchange as well as stock sheets for six years.

#4: You must keep the following records for a period of five years:
 

  • Vat records;

  • Other and general correspondence;

  • Invoices – sales and purchases;

  • Bank statements and vouchers;

  • Tax returns and assessments (after date of assessment); and

  • Year end working papers.

#5: Lastly, you must keep your staff personnel records (after employment has ended) as well as your salary and wages register for three years.

Now that you know the type of accounting records SARS wants you to keep and how long you must keep them, comply so you can avoid penalties.
 

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