Did you lose your accounting documents before the end of the retention period? Check what to do!

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Keeping and protecting accounting records is the task of every entrepreneur - it is necessary to ensure that the evidence is secured as well as possible until the end of the mandatory retention period. At the same time, it is impossible to predict and prevent all random events - such as fire or flood - that may lead to irreversible loss of accounting documentation. What to do in this situation?

As a reminder - storage of documentation

In accordance with the provisions of the Tax Ordinance, the entrepreneur should keep the accounting records of his company until the expiry of the statute of limitations for the obligation to which the documentation relates. In practice, it is usually five years from the end of the calendar year in which the tax payment deadline expired. Importantly, in practice this period can be up to seven years.

It should be emphasized that the limitation period also depends on the type of tax.

Loss of documentation - what should I do?

In a situation where the entrepreneur loses the accounting documentation of his company, he should take all possible steps to restore it. Therefore, you should re-issue your own accounting vouchers and ask contractors for duplicates. It is also possible to contact your bank for a statement of account operations that will help determine income and expenses.

It is also worth reporting to the competent tax office in order to inform about the situation. Thus, the entrepreneur obtains some protection in the event of a possible control, if he fails to complete the accounting documentation by that time.

What should be included in the application to the tax office? The letter should include:

  • date and place of preparation,
  • taxpayer data,
  • data of the tax office, indication of the legal basis,
  • description of the facts with an indication of what type of documents were lost and for what period,
  • arguments supported by evidence, e.g. a copy of the police certificate in the event of theft of files or a letter from the fire brigade in the event of a fire,
  • signature of the taxpayer or his representative (along with the power of attorney).

The entrepreneur also has the option of postponing the deadline for submitting tax returns. This option is given to him by Art. 48 par. 1 of the Ordinance. It is important that the application is submitted to the office before the deadline for submitting the declaration.

In such an application, the entrepreneur should take into account:

  • the date and place of the letter,
  • taxpayer data,
  • tax office data,
  • indication of the legal basis,
  • clarifying which declaration is meant and proposing a convenient date for submitting the declaration,
  • arguments supported by evidence, e.g. a copy of the police certificate in the event of theft of files or a letter from the fire brigade in the event of burning, etc.,
  • signature of the taxpayer or his representative (+ power of attorney).

It is worth remembering that when the deadline for submitting the declaration is postponed, the tax payment date will be automatically postponed.