Records are your accounting and other financial information documents kept in an organized way.
The information that your records must contain depends on your situation and on factors such as:
- your business type
- the format you keep your records in (paper, electronic or a combination of the two)
- if you have converted any paper records or supporting documents into an electronic version
- if you are involved in e-commerce (for information about e-commerce, go to Doing business on the Internet);
- if you are a GST/HST registrant
- if you are an employer
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has detailed information for situations where your records, including those of your business, have been affected by a disaster. For more information, including what qualifies as a disaster, go to Disasters and disaster relief.
If you need help after reading the following topics on keeping records, call 1-800-959-5525.
- What are records and who has to keep them?
- Your responsibilities and the requirements associated with records the law requires you to keep
Your responsibilities for your records; the requirements that all records must satisfy; the other requirements that electronic records must satisfy; the information you must keep on Internet-based transactions.
- Business Records
Keep income, expense, motor vehicle, and property records
- GST/HST and payroll records
Information that GST/HST registrants and persons claiming a GST/HST rebate or refund must keep in their records, and the information that employers must keep in their records.
- Specific information that certain entities have to keep
Information that corporations, trusts, registered agents for registered political parties, official agents for candidates in a federal election, and registered charities, registered Canadian amateur athletic associations and other qualified donees must keep in their records.
- Acceptable format, imaging paper documents, and backing up electronic files
Paper and electronic formats; converting paper documents into electronic files; reproducing or destroying paper documents after imaging; making backup copies of your electronic files.
- Where to keep your records, for how long, and how to request the permission to destroy them early
- Review of business systems and keeping audit trails of business transactions
What the CRA verifies when it reviews business systems, and keeping information on the sequence of events of business transactions
Forms and publications
- Information Circular IC05-1, Electronic Record Keeping
- Information Circular IC78-10, Books and Records Retention/Destruction
- Video series: Reporting Business Income and Expenses
- Date modified: