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Thread: How many years to keep old invoices? 5 or 10 years?

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    Full Member michellepace's Avatar
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    How many years to keep old invoices? 5 or 10 years?

    Hi there,

    Our company filing room is really... full. In my mind we only have to keep records up to five years. Some of the ladies in the office seem to think 10 years. Does anyone know (without a doubt) how many years to keep documents for. Is it 5 or 10 years? Better yet, does anyone have an actual link on the SARS website which states this? I haven't been able to find it myself. I've found this SARS page on Record Keeping but it refers to a "person" and not a business. Goodness, I'm so thankful for this forum.

    Regards,
    Michelle
    Last edited by michellepace; 12-Jul-19 at 04:37 PM. Reason: tax

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    Diamond Member Mike C's Avatar
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    Hi Michelle - we have just asked our auditors the same question and this was their reply:



    The recommended guidelines are as follows:

    1. Statutory information indefinite
    2. AFS 15 years
    3. Books of account and supporting schedules 15 years
    4. Asset registers - 15 years
    5. Tax returns (after date of submission) 5 years
    6. Staff personnel records (after employment ceased) 3 years
    7. Salary and wage registers 5 years
    8. Paid cheques 6 years
    9. Invoices/bank statements/stock sheets/Vat records/vouchers and general correspondence 5 years
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

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    Blurock (12-Jul-19), michellepace (12-Jul-19)

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing Mike.
    Often in small businesses we are ignorant of the law and then land in trouble , blaming everyone else.
    As a business owner, we have a responsibility to do our bit to keep up to date.
    That's why it may be a good idea to join your local business chamber or a forum such as this.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Full Member michellepace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
    Hi Michelle - we have just asked our auditors the same question and this was their reply:
    ...
    Thanks very much Mike. I checked with our accountant today too. He said 5 years. We'll almost have nothing left in our filing room by the time we're done!!

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    I'm also having the same problem in filling all the records. This is a big help. thank you

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    Do the records have to be hard copies or can they be electronic?

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    Here is a public link to SAICA's guide. Its very comprehensive and includes all legislation.

    https://www.saica.co.za/Portals/0/Do...April_2019.pdf

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    Mike C (16-Jul-19)

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