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Keeping your records for your businessin Tax Planning and Tax Preparation
What are records?
Records are accounting and other financial documents that are kept in an organized way.
If you are carrying on a business or engaged in a commercial activity in Canada, you are required to maintain adequate records. These records must provide sufficient details to determine your tax obligations and entitlements. They have to be supported by source documents to verify the information in the records.
What are the legal requirements for keeping records?
All records such as paper documents, as well as those stored in an electronic medium (such as on computer disk), must be kept in Canada or made available in Canada upon the request of the CRA. The records must be in English or French. Today, many kinds of records are kept in electronic formats.
Please note that you need written permission from the CRA if you intend to keep your documents outside Canada.
What records should you keep?
You should keep records of all the income you receive. You should also keep all receipts, invoices, vouchers, and cancelled cheques indicating outlays of money such as salaries and wages, operating expenses (rent, advertising expenses, capital expenditures) and other miscellaneous items such ( charitable donations).
Your records must be permanent
Your records must be permanent whichever accounting or record-keeping method you use. . They must contain a systematic account of your income, deductions, credits, and other information you need to report on your income tax and GST/HST returns.
What information should your records contain?
Your records must contain exact amounts and not approximates. They should contain information that can determine how much tax you owe or other amounts to be collected, withheld or deducted, or any rebate you may claim. It is also important that these records must be supported by vouchers or other necessary source documents.