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.
For GST-registered businesses, please refer to the Guide “Record Keeping Guide for GST-registered Businesses (344KB)" for the record keeping requirements for both Income Tax and GST purposes. This will cover requirements for keeping business records in electronic media and imaging systems.
Non-GST registered businesses
For Non-GST registered businesses, please refer to the Guide“Record Keeping Guide for Non GST-registered Businesses (500KB)” for the record keeping requirements for Income Tax purposes. This will cover requirements for keeping business records in electronic media and imaging systems.
Please refer to the “Record Keeping Checklist ”, which provides a summarised list of the different types of records required.
IRAS recognises that small businesses have simpler business and tax affairs. Small businesses that meet the qualifying conditions can adopt the"Simplified Record Keeping Requirements (1150KB)" from 1 Jan 2014 for Year of Assessment 2015. Please refer to the Guide “Simplified Record Keeping Requirements for Small Businesses”
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.
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 and accounts for a period of at least five years with effect from 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