How long do I need to keep my Isa paperwork for the taxman?

21 November 2018

Q

I opened a Stocks and Shares Isa in the early Noughties and bought some investment trust shares through a monthly share plan. It has done rather well. As it is a tax-efficient wrapper, it is nice not paying tax on the dividends and worrying about capital gains tax.

However, I am trying to clear out some paperwork and, as no CGT would be payable, I don’t feel I need to keep details of the earlier transactions.

I understand you normally have to keep paperwork for six years for HMRC purposes, but is this necessary for an Isa?

From
DS/Milton Keynes

A

The conventional wisdom is that people should keep financial documents for six years. You can demand that the financial companies you have used send you copies of old documents for up to six years.

However, HMRC states that individuals should keep tax-related documents for 22 months after the end of the tax year to which they relate. But if you are likely to be investigated by HMRC, it’s a good idea to keep them for longer.

As Isas produce tax-free income and capital gains, you shouldn’t need to retain your statements at all for tax purposes. However, in exceptional circumstances this information would be useful to retain if, for example, there are queries regarding exceeding your annual Isa allowance.