Introduction to Record Keeping
Requirement to Keep Proper Records and Accounts
You should keep proper records and accounts so that the 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.
Records to Verify Income and Claims for Deduction
Records include cash register tape, daily sales record book and invoices.
Receipts and daily purchases record book.
You need not submit these records to IRAS unless requested by IRAS. However, upon request by IRAS, you may be required to substantiate your reported income and expense claims with records and accounts.
Producing data listings of your business accounts in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format will help expedite any audit review by IRAS. As such, if you are using accounting software or have engaged a book-keeper for your business, please extract or request for a copy of your business accounts and general ledgers in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format.
The term 'accounts' refer to the trading and profit and loss accounts as well as the balance sheets.
Requirement to Issue Receipts
You must 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
- More than $12,000 from providing services.
You do not need to issue receipts if you adopt practices that can ensure the completeness and accuracy of the recording of all your sales receipts.
Duration for Records and Accounts Keeping
You are required to retain the accounting records and supporting documents for five years.
Failure to do so may result in:
- Expenses claimed being disallowed; or/and
Businesses with December financial year end
Records for period
To keep up to
1 Jan 2017 to 31 Dec 2017
31 Dec 2022
|2021||1 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020||31 Dec 2025|
Businesses with non-December financial year end, e.g. Jun, Sep
Records for period
To keep up to
1 Oct 2016 to 30 Sep 2017
31 Dec 2022
|2021||1 Oct 2019 to 30 Sep 2020||31 Dec 2025|
Where a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) has been struck off and dissolved, the partners of the LLP immediately before the LLP was dissolved must ensure that all books and papers of the LLP are retained for at least five years after the dissolution of the LLP.
Where an LLP is being wound up, the liquidator of the LLP must ensure that all the books and papers of the LLP are retained for at least five years (instead of two years previously) from the date of dissolution of the LLP.
Financial Accounts in Other Currencies
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 (PDF, 334KB)
Guides on Record Keeping
Please refer to our e-learning video to have an overview of record-keeping requirements for Income Tax and GST purposes.
For GST-registered businesses, please refer to the Guide "Record Keeping Guide for GST-registered Businesses (PDF, 297KB)" for the record keeping requirements for both Income Tax and GST purposes. The guide also covers 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 (PDF, 334KB)" for the record keeping requirements for Income Tax purposes. The guide also covers requirements for keeping business records in electronic media and imaging systems.
Non-GST Registered Small Businesses
IRAS recognises that small businesses have simpler business and tax matters. Small businesses that meet the qualifying conditions can adopt the "Simplified Record Keeping Requirements (PDF, 500KB)" from 1 Jan 2014. Please refer to the Guide "Simplified Record Keeping Requirements for Small Businesses"
Please refer to the Record Keeping Checklist (PDF, 64KB), which provides a summary of the different types of records required.
Record Keeping Self-Assessment Toolkit
IRAS has created a self-assessment toolkit to help businesses perform a self-review of their existing record keeping standards and to better understand the possible areas for improvement.
For Non-GST registered businesses, please download the toolkit (XLSX, 30KB).
For GST-registered businesses, please download the toolkit (XLSX, 172KB).
If my business purchases a new accounting software, do we need to migrate all the accounting transactions recorded in the existing accounting software to the new accounting software?
There is no specific requirement for businesses to migrate the accounting transactions recorded in the existing accounting software to the new accounting software. However, after purchasing the new accounting software, businesses must continue to retain and be able to retrieve the accounting transactions that had been recorded in the existing software for at least five years from the Year of Assessment or end of the GST accounting period to which it relates. Other business documents associated with these transactional records, such as source documents, accounting records and schedules and bank statements, should be retained accordingly as well.