How long do I have to keep my financial administration?

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Period of retention of documents

Private individuals

For private individuals the law does not officially state how long the administration should be kept. So it is not determined how long for example pay slips and bank statements must be kept. But because the tax authorities can call in additional tax for the last 5 years it would be wise to keep these documents for 5 years.

After you have filed the tax return the tax authorities can ask for more information about a certain tax deduction you claim. They can require proof of payment of the deducted amount. If you don’t have the relevant invoice or bank statement anymore the tax authorities can refuse the deduction.

Businesses

Companies, freelancers, entrepreneurs are legally obliged to keep their administration for a period of 7 years. This period starts at the moment that the documents don’t belong to the annual administration anymore (normally on 1 January of the next year, unless a different accounting year is used). The entire administration including all bookings and related invoices and receipts must be kept.

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