For many companies, the financial year has arrived and it’s time to sort the paperwork and accounting records that need to be retained from the ones that need safely disposing of.
It’s a complicated job. Destroying information too early could land you with a fine from HMRC and you could be disqualified as a director, but holding on to records for too long and not destroying confidential information properly runs the risk of a fine from the ICO and costly damage to your reputation in the aftermath of a data breach.
So, how long should you keep financial records? The HMRC website states “You must normally keep records for at least 6 years from the end of the last company financial year they relate to.”
However, if any of the following apply, you may need to keep records longer:
- records show a transaction that covers more than one of the company’s accounting periods
- the company has bought something that it expects to last more than 6 years, like equipment or machinery
- you sent your Company Tax Return late
- HMRC has started a compliance check into your Company Tax Return
If in doubt, seek guidance from an accountant or HMRC.
Once you’re happy that records don’t need to be taking up valuable space, or hanging around and creating a data breach risk, it’s time to ensure that they are properly destroyed and recycled. Russell Richardson offer an ad hoc collection service that conforms to BSIA standards and provides a cost effective and environmentally friendly solution. Security sacks, lockable wheelie bins or skips can be provided to keep documents secure up to the point of destruction. For your records and data protection compliance, Russell Richardson provide you with a certificate of destruction to show that you responsibly dispose of your records. For security and your peace of mind, all Russell Richardson staff are DBS checked and all vehicles are tracked.
Documents can be shredded at your premises by a mobile shredding vehicle, or back at Russell Richardson’s secure facility on the same day. For more information, or details of our paper shredding prices, speak to one of our helpful team on 0845 294 6552.
Throughout April 2017, Russell Richardson are including 12 sacks or archive boxes of confidential waste in their minimum charges (usually 10). See here for more details of our Financial Year End offer.