When we perform a business activity we accumulate a large amount of documentation, both received and delivered, such as contracts, accounting books, invoices …, which we must keep in our files for a certain time for different reasons. The first is that the regulations require it as an obligation, and the second is that at a given moment it may be required in the future for verification or inspection by the public administration itself.
The first guideline to be taken into account is established in Article 30 of the Commercial Code, which states: “Entrepreneurs shall keep the books, correspondence, documentation and supporting documents concerning their business, duly ordered, for six years from the last entry made in the books, except for what is established by general or special provisions.
Therefore, everything referred to as accounting, tax, labor or commercial documentation (accounting books, annual accounts, minutes…) must be kept from the last day of the financial year for a period of 6 years, unless another rule requires a longer period.
The limitation periods, by which companies are normally governed to keep the business documentation when proposing a calendar to keep all this documentation in a correct way and according to the need, would be the following:
– Accounting and Commercial Documentation: 6 years from the last recorded entry in the books as indicated in Article 30 of the Commercial Code.
– Fiscal documentation to settle or demand payment of tax debts: 4 years from the end of the period for presentation of the declarations, according to article 66. Law 58/2003, of 17 December.
– Fiscal for verification of the bases, compensated quotas, pending compensation, of applied deductions, pending application: 10 years from the end of the period for submission of the declaration in which they were generated, according to Article 66 bis. Law 58/2003.
– Crimes against the Public Treasury and Social Security: to be kept within 10 years, according to Article 131 Organic Law 10/1995
– Labor Documentation: With regard to labor documentation, the period of limitation for presenting infractions is 3 years according to Article 4.1 Legislative Royal Decree 5/2000, 4 years for those related to social security according to Article 4.2 Legislative Royal Decree 5/2000 and 5 years for those in the field of prevention of labor risks contemplated in Article 4.3 Legislative Royal Decree 5/2000
Each prescription begins to count from the last day of the period of voluntary liquidation except for the corresponding declaration in case of tax infractions that count from the moment that the infraction is committed.
However, there are other types of documentation that must be kept for an unspecified period of time, such as loans, which must be kept until they are returned, and documentation on fixed assets that are kept until they have been amortized or sold, in relation to investment goods, must be kept until the regularization of VAT (5 years in general and 10 years for land and buildings).
At Zavala & Moscoso, we manage all the documentation of our clients according to the regulations, in order to comply with the obligations within the requirements established. In this way, our clients only have to worry about their business.