As a sole-proprietor/self-employed person, you are required to keep proper records and accounts of your business transactions. This is so that your income earned and business expenses claimed can be readily determined. You must be able to support your records and accounts with invoices, receipts, vouchers and other supporting documents. Estimates and improper records are not acceptable.
Records to verify income and claims for deduction include:
- For sales: cash register tape, daily sales record book and invoices.
- For expenses: receipts and daily purchases record book.
However, you need not forward these records unless they are requested by IRAS. The term 'accounts' refer to the trading and profit and loss accounts as well as the balance sheets.
Issuing receipts to customers
You have to issue serially printed receipts and keep a duplicate of the receipts if your gross income in any year is more than $18,000 from the sale of goods, or $12,000 from providing services.
However, you need not issue receipts if you adopt practices that can ensure the completeness and accuracy of the recording of all your sales receipts.
Keeping business records in electronic media
You must follow the requirements as stated in the guide 'Keeping Machine-Sensible Records and Electronic Invoicing' (125KB)
Keeping business records in imaging systems
You must follow the requirements as stated in the guide 'Keeping of Records in Imaging Systems' (169KB)
How long must I keep the records and accounts?
Under the Income Tax Act and the GST Act, you are required to keep your business records for a period of at least seven years, for records pertaining to accounting periods ending before 1 January 2007. The corresponding record-keeping duration is five years for records pertaining to accounting periods ending on or after 1 January 2007.
Maintaining financial accounts in a currency other than the Singapore dollar
If you maintain your financial accounts in a currency other than the Singapore dollar, you should also file your tax computations and financial statements to the Comptroller in that currency.
However, in the Income Tax Return, you must declare the equivalent Singapore dollar amount. Please refer to the IRAS Circular on Filing of Income Tax Computations and Financial Statements in Functional Currencies other than Singapore Dollars 334KB