How Long Do I Have to keep my Business Tax Records for the CRA
It’s a simple question, but one you’ve probably heard different answers for. As a business owner, how long do you have to keep your tax records? Is there a statute of limitation of how far back they can go to audit you?
Well, here’s the answer, straight from the source. According to the Canada Revenue Agency, “if you file your return on time, keep your business tax records for a minimum of six years after the end of the taxation year to which they relate.”
What Tax Documents Do I Need to Keep?
The CRA defines these as supporting tax documents, which can include:
- Sales invoices;
- Purchase receipts, contracts;
- Bank deposit slips, cancelled cheques;
- Cash register slips, credit card receipts; purchase orders;
- Work orders, payroll records;
- Delivery slips;
- Business permits
- Emails; and
- All correspondence in support of the transaction.
Are Scans or Copies of Tax Records Acceptable? Do I Need the Original File?
The CRA is very reasonable and they recognize the world is shifting to digital records. So they are willing to accept:
- Books, records, and supporting tax documents produced and retained in paper format;
- Books, records, and supporting tax documents produced on paper, and subsequently converted to and stored in an electronically accessible and readable format; and
- Electronic records and supporting tax documents produced and retained in an electronically accessible and readable format
Records and supporting documents originally produced in paper format have to be kept in paper format, unless they are saved in acceptable microfiche, microfilm, or electronic image formats. If you do scan documents, it is required that the image follows proper imaging practices.
If you have any questions about record keeping or any other tax accounting services, please contact a member of our staff.