For many years the typical business would do their tax return and then haul large boxes of receipts and invoices to a storage room where they would sit and collect dust.
Occasionally an auditor would arrive and the boxes would be hauled down to the office to be inspected. Those days are rapidly disappearing and it started when Revenue made provision for the retention of tax records in electronic format.
Moving with the introduction of modern technology, Revenue is now allowing electronic storage as an alternative to files full of paper documents. A business must still retain the documents for the required time. However, now there are new provisions that allows for the storage, maintenance, transmission, reproduction and communication of any record.
The “record” is any document which a person is obliged by Revenue to keep, to issue or to produce for inspection, and any other written or printed material which is stored, maintained, transmitted, reproduced or communicated for the purposes of the Tax Acts. This record can now be a digital copy that should be held complete without any changes for the required time specified for keeping of such records.
When you have an electronic version stored, you don’t also have to keep a paper copy. You can now shred that securely and save on space. It’s important that the scanned copy is legible otherwise it will not be accepted. This is a good reason to use a professional service provider that will ensure it is a suitable copy.
There should be a clear audit trail within the system to cover scanning, batch details, indexing, problems arising during processing of records, the time and date of such processing, the name of the processor and other relevant information. All of which a good provider will look after on your behalf.
The files must be accessible should Revenue want to inspect them. With digital files it is much easier to search for a document, especially if it is from a few years ago. Another benefit is that auditors love companies that have electronic copies, it makes their life easier and their job much quicker.
With so many benefits to moving to a paperless system it is no wonder that it is now becoming best practice among progressive companies. Your documents are now securely stored, with little risk of damage or interference. For more information on scanning services for Revenue documents and to see how cost effective this can be, you can speak with the friendly team at datascan document services.