Storage of accounting documents - do you know how to do it?


Running a company imposes many obligations on the entrepreneur. These include, among others, invoicing, tax settlements and storage of accounting documents. The majority of business owners still outsource accounting work to accounting offices that deal with comprehensive business support. However, among the taxpayers there will also be those who settle their own accounts. Contrary to appearances, not everyone knows that accounting records should be properly stored based on applicable standards. What? You will learn from our article.

What accounting documents should be kept?

The documents that must be kept obligatorily should include:

  • tax revenue and expense ledger (PKPiR),
  • sales records,
  • VAT sales and purchase registers,
  • declarations,
  • accounting documents (confirmations of sales, purchases, other expenses related to business activity),
  • inventory documents (physical inventory),
  • a copy of your annual tax return.

Accounting documentation is kept for tax purposes. It is the main evidence during the inspection of the tax office, therefore it should be conducted diligently. This is why you should not throw away any proof of transaction, including credit notes and duplicates.

How to store accounting documents?

Proper storage of accounting documents is a very important aspect. First of all, both cost and sales documents should be arranged and numbered in accordance with PKPiR, and carefully secured against possible loss or destruction. The entrepreneur should pay attention to the appropriate division of documents into accounting periods.

The main assumption of storing accounting documents is free access to them for tax authorities. Therefore, the entrepreneur should designate the place of keeping the accounting documentation. The tax office should also be informed about this fact. The owner of the company may store the documents on his own or order it to a servicing unit, e.g. an accounting office.

Storage of accounting documents in electronic form

Storage of accounting documents may also be carried out in electronic form. Although the provisions of the Accounting Act require the availability of original accounting documents, the option of electronic storage is allowed, provided that they are properly secured against:

  • the possibility of making a possible change,
  • unauthorized dissemination,
  • damage or destruction.

In addition, the owner is responsible for backing up the electronic documentation. Access to digital media should not be limited - the entrepreneur should have devices that enable reading or printing the data contained on the media.

Importantly, in the case of sole proprietorships, the provisions of the Accounting Act do not apply. Therefore, some of the e-documents still need to be printed.


The taxpayer may keep the KPiR in electronic form. However, in order to be recognized by the tax authorities as correct, it must meet several conditions, more about that in the article: When can the KPiR be kept electronically?

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How long should accounting documents be kept?

Accounting documents for tax purposes should be kept for a period of 5 years from the end of the year in which the tax payment deadline expired. In the case of income tax, the deadline for submitting the annual tax return and paying the income tax is important, as it expires on April 30 of the year following the tax year being settled. Therefore, the period of keeping accounting documents should be counted from the end of the year in which the tax was actually settled.

Keeping accounting documents does not have to be problematic, it is enough to follow the above rules. After the compulsory archiving period expires, the documents can be destroyed. The regulations do not regulate the question of what should be done with them after the expiry of the mandatory archiving.It is worth noting, however, that for safety reasons, the entrepreneur should prepare a detailed protocol of damaged papers.