In accordance with the Accounting Act, documentation of adopted accounting principles, financial statements, accounting books and a report on the operations of the entity, after approval of the financial statements for a given financial year, shall be kept in its original form. Documentation should be kept in a set order adapted to the manner of keeping accounting books, dividing them into reporting periods, which will allow them to be easily found. It is worth noting that the annual collection of accounting documents and inventory documents should be marked with the name of their type, as well as the symbol of the final years and numbers in the collection.
The content of accounting documents can be transferred to IT data carriers that allow to keep the content of evidence in a permanent and unchanged form. This does not apply to documents regarding the transfer of property rights to immovable property, entrusting responsibility for assets components as well as major contracts and other substantial documents specified by the head of the unit. The condition for using the method of storing data on IT data carriers is to have devices that allow the reproduction of evidence in the form of a printout, unless other regulations provide otherwise. The printout is equivalent to the accounting document if its content has been transferred to an IT data carrier.
It is worth noting that the head of the unit should notify the competent tax office of the place where the books of accounts are kept within 15 days of their issue if the accounting books are kept outside the head office or place of management. There is an obligation to ensure the availability of accounting books along with accounting documents to authorized bodies for external control or supervision in the seat of the administrative unit or in the place of management board or elsewhere, with the consent of the inspection body.
Deadlines for storing documents are specified in art. 74 of the Accounting Act. Storage periods are calculated from the beginning of the year following the financial year for which the collections relate.
The five-year term for storing documents is valid for accounting books; inventory documents; documentation of the adopted method of accounting and other accounting documents and reports, the obligation to prepare results from the Act. Employee pay slips or their equivalents should be kept for the period of required access to this information, resulting from pension, disability and tax provisions, however, not shorter than 5 years. Accounting evidence regarding receipts from retail sales should be kept until the approval of the financial statements for the given financial year, however, not shorter than until the date of settlement of persons entrusted with the assets included in the retail sale. In the case of accounting evidence regarding fixed assets under construction, loans, cash loans and trade agreements, claims which are raised in civil proceedings or covered by criminal or tax proceedings, for 5 years from the beginning of the year following the financial year in which operations, transactions and proceedings were finally concluded, paid, accounted or expired. Documents regarding warranty and advertising should be kept for 1 year after the warranty expiration date or after the complaint.