Guernsey Records Retention

Introduction

This page aims to identify the specific legal and regulatory obligations for keeping records within the Guernsey jurisdiction. This includes Alderney and Sark.

Financial Services

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission provides Guidance on the AML/CFT framework which applies to Financial Services Businesses and Prescribed Businesses:

CDD information and suspicion reports should be kept for a period of 5 years after the business relationship has ceased or from the completion date of a transaction where no relationship has been established (e.g. when a property has been purchased or sold). Transaction documents should be retained for 5 years from the date the transaction was completed.

Company Records

The Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 states:

Minutes of directors’ meetings must be kept for at least 6 years from the date of the meeting.

Records of resolutions and meetings etc. must be kept for at least 6 years after the date of the resolution, meeting or decision (as appropriate).

Accounting Records

Under The Income Tax (Keeping of Records, etc) (Amendment) Regulations, 2012:

Records must be kept of all amounts received, arising or accruing and from whom they were received, arose or accrued, and the periods to which the amounts relate; Documents which contain or may contain information relevant to any liability to tax to which that person may be subject, or the amount of any such liability, also have to be retained, and; All supporting documents relating to the records and documents referred to above also have to be kept, including (without limitation) accounts, contracts, leases, licenses or other agreements, vouchers and receipts.

Documents referred to above must be kept for a period of six years, where the documentation relates to the income of a trust or foundation; for six years if the person concerned is a legal person (such as a company); and two years in the case of individuals living on pensions or investment income.

In each of these cases, the period for which records have to be retained runs from the end of the year in which the relevant income tax return is submitted, or where no such return is required to be submitted, from the end of the year in which the record or document was created, received or obtained.

The Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 states: Accounting records (and, where returns are sent, returns) shall be kept by the company for a period of at least 6 years after the date on which they are made.

Contracts and Limitation

Prescription is the extinction of a claim by the passage of time. It differs from the English concept of limitation in that limitation merely bars the remedy available, whereas prescription bars the legal right itself. The prescription period varies depending on the nature of the claim. In Guernsey, for most claims based on breach of contract or tort, the period is 6 years.

It is understood that this is legislated within the Loi rélative aux prescriptions 1889.

Citations and References

Income Tax (Keeping of Records, etc) (Amendment) Regulations, 2012 http://www.guernseylegalresources.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=74544&p=0

The Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 http://www.guernseylegalresources.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=70745&p=0

The Guernsey Financial Services commission provides Guidance on the AML/CFT framework which applies to Financial Services Businesses and Prescribed Businesses http://www.gfsc.gg/The-Commission/Policy%20and%20Legislation/Simplified%20Guidance%20on%20the%20AML-CFT%20framework.pdf

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