How Long Should You Keep Invoices and Tax Records

by | Nov 3, 2016

Keeping good business records not only saves you time during tax season, it also helps you manage your business more effectively.

In the US, the IRS recommends business owners keep records for gross receipts, purchases and other key business activities (see next section). Organizing your invoices and business records electronically helps you manage this information with ease and prevents the loss of important documents and receipts.


What other supporting business document should I keep?

If you are a business owner in the US, the IRS recommends keeping business records for following items:  

  • Gross receipts (income you receive from your business), including invoices, cash register tapes, deposit information for cash and credit sales, receipt books, and miscellaneous income (Forms 1099-MISC)
  • Purchases (items you buy and resell to customers), including invoices, cash register tape receipts, credit card receipts and statements, and other documents to prove the purchase
  • Expenses (other costs you incur to carry on your business), including invoices, cash register tapes, account statements, Credit card receipts and statements, and other expense-related documents
  • Travel, Transportation, Entertainment, and Gift Expenses (see details)
  • Assets (property that you own and use in your business)
  • Employment taxes


How long should I keep business records?

For business owners in the United States, the IRS provides guidelines.  In most cases, 3 years is the short answer. We’ve presented the information below to help you understand what other situations you may need to consider.


For businesses in UK and Australia

UK: For a VAT-registered business in the UK, you need to keep VAT records for at least 6 years (or 10 years for some businesses – see details on VAT record keeping). The tax bureau requires business owners to (1) keep records of sales and purchases (2) issue correct VAT invoices (3) keep a separate summary of VAT accounts.

Australia: Australian business owners are required to keep records explaining all transactions for at least 5 years (or longer in some cases). See more about what the Australia Tax Bureau recommends for managing invoices, recording payments and keeping records.


How can Invoice2go help me with this?

Prepare for tax time using some of our favorite Invoice2go features.

With Receipts2go, you can capture expenses right when they happen. Snap a photo of each receipt while you’re out and then review in bulk at the end of the year. You can log and organize expenses by category, vendor, and month and year. All of this information can then be exported into a PDF or CSV report.

You can also run business reports to view past invoices by month, quarter or year. With just a few taps you can print your sales, payment history and expense reports. Watch the brief  video tutorial to get you started!



How long should I keep records? | US IRS

What kind of records should I keep? | US IRS

Starting a Business and Keeping Records | US IRS

VAT record keeping | UK Taxation

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