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How long to keep IRS invoices?

Know how long you have to keep the IRS invoices and know the cases in which you don’t even need to keep the papers at home.

In other times, keep your IRS invoices it was a challenge for the less organized: the State asked taxpayers to keep paper proof of all expenses for at least ten years. Today, thanks to the digitization of bureaucratic processes, the requirement is no longer the same.

It’s not yet time to empty the drawers: we still have to keep the IRS invoices to present them to the Tax Office if we are summoned. But we no longer need to keep all the proofs and deadlines have also become shorter.

Why keep IRS invoices?

Invoices with tax number are proof that we have everything we bought, when, from whom and for how much money. For the State – or, in particular, for the Tax Authority (AT) -, invoices are the only way to prove that the sale/purchase actually took place and that the customer and seller provide the same information to the Tax Authorities.

The importance of ensuring that the customer and the seller provide consistent information lies in the need to ensure the proper collection of taxes – that neither the seller declares sales that he did not make, nor the taxpayer requests deduction of expenses that, in reality, he did not have.

The benefits of electronic invoices

When, as a result of the digitization of State services, electronic invoices were implemented, the entire tax verification process became more efficient and it was no longer necessary to keep all IRS invoices.

Today, when a consumer makes a purchase, the invoice for that transaction is registered by the seller in a computer system and communicated electronically to the Tax Authority. by the 12th of the month following the month in which the transaction took place. This data is then cataloged by AT: the same invoice is registered in the seller’s file and in the customer’s E-Fatura portal.

In what situations should I keep IRS invoices?

Now that the entire system is digitized, it is only necessary to save the IRS invoices on paper if there is any mismatch between the information provided by the taxpayer and the information provided by the seller.

If there is no misalignment – that is, if the consumer confirms that the invoice was duly registered on the E-Fatura portal and correctly allocated for the purposes of deducting collection -, the paper receipts can be discarded.

Therefore, the following situations remain in which it is necessary to keep the IRS invoices:

The taxpayer must manually identify the economic area of ​​the seller

It is necessary to keep the IRS invoices when they appear in the E-Fatura without associated economic area and the taxpayer has to complete the process by hand. This happens when the seller has several Economic Activity Codes (CAE), and the paper invoice serves to prove to Finance that the allocation of the economic area was correctly made and that the expense is eligible for tax deduction.

The exception goes to invoices that the taxpayer defines as “other goods and services”, which, as they are not deductible from collection, will not be scrutinized. In these, it is not necessary to keep the IRS invoices.

The invoice has only been registered by the taxpayer

If the taxpayer manually registers an invoice on the E-Fatura portal, he must keep the paper receipt until the seller also registers that invoice. When this happens (the seller has by February 25 of the following year when the invoice is issued), the taxpayer must delete the record on his side and can discard the paper invoice.

The seller does not register the invoice

In cases where the taxpayer registers an invoice in the E-Fatura, but the seller has not fulfilled the same obligation by the 25th of February of the following year, the taxpayer is obliged to keep the paper invoice in order to be able to present it to the AT when called upon. to clarify the case.

How long do you need to keep IRS invoices?

All invoices that the taxpayer manually assigns to an economic area that gives the right to deduct the collection must be kept for four years. The same applies to invoices that the taxpayer registered in E-Fatura, but the seller did not confirm the same registration.

Invoices that were registered by the consumer and, later, by the seller, do not need to be kept on paper once both parties have provided information to AT.

How to save IRS invoices?

Although the digitization of tax services has come to exempt taxpayers from keeping many invoices, some documents will still have to be kept on file – and four years is a long time.

In order not to get lost among so many papers, the best way to organize yourself is cataloging the invoices you have. Organize a dossier with tabs and assign each tab to an economic area deductible in the collection (general and family expenses, health, education, hairdressers and beauty salons, car repair, accommodation and catering, real estate, nursing homes, veterinarians, public transport and gyms ), plus one for invoices that you have communicated to AT, but the seller has not.

When filing invoices, organize them by date: oldest first, most recent at the end. So you already know that, whenever you have to add an invoice to the dossier, just put it at the end of the respective tab.

When (and if) you are called upon by AT to submit invoices, it will be much easier to retrieve specific documents and will make the whole process more efficient.

See too
Will you be subject to a tax inspection? Know how to proceed

Article originally published in May 2022. Last updated in March 2023.

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