It feels like almost every time you login into your online banking you’re asked to turn off paper bank statements. My strong advice is don’t!
As some of you will know I run a near-paperless office. I’m not against environmental, cost and space savings where they can be made but consider the following:
1. As a self-employed person or company director you’re required by law to retain your financial records for the past 6 years + the current year. Yet, banks, mobile phone companies, utility providers etc aren’t worried about that. Online documents are stored for anything between 6 months and 6 years. Further if you close your account you probably will not be able to access these online records.
2. The bank statements of your business and even your personal bank account will be amongst the first records requested during a HMRC tax investigation. Don’t have them? Or your banks online format not acceptable? Then I’ve known banks charge hundreds of pounds for supplying 6 years’ worth of paper bank statements – statements which you should have already received!
3. Finally, paper statements are primary records of your business. They provide a valuable visual reminder and control of what’s going on financially.
Switch on and keep turned on your paper bank and credit card statements. When you receive them in the post file them in number or date order and store them away for 6 years + the current year.
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