No More Paper Receipt Hoarding for UK Business

No More Paper Receipt Hoarding for UK Business

By Jo Downend
31 March 2014

March 31st 2014, a Selenity (formerly Software Europe) and CIPP (Chartered Institute for Payroll Professionals) investigation into HMRC’s paper receipt policy has led to confirmation that UK businesses no longer need to keep hard copy receipts for employee expenses in storage for any reason, provided that electronic copies exist on their financial IT systems.

The announcement means that companies will save thousands in ongoing paper storage costs and personnel time as the process of recording and archiving paper copies of payroll and employee expense receipts for tax purposes can now officially cease. HMRC will not, it has confirmed, require paper as a back-up to electronically stored copies. Using an electronic expenses system to manage staff receipts for expenses such as mileage and subsistence is now recognised by HMRC as standard practice.

Selenity, whose Expenses system is used by public and private sector companies to process expenses, including those of over 600,000 NHS staff in the UK, is now working with CIPP to educate finance teams on this important change.

Neil Everatt CEO at Selenity commented: “After investigation and clarification with HMRC we can now confidently state that the paper copies of receipts for employee expenses do not need to be stored, providing the person fulfils their obligation to preserve the records.

The basic rule is that a company must create and retain normal business records, but these records do not have to be kept in a set, ie hard copy way which for years is how businesses have been lead to believe it must be. Most bookkeeping and computer systems will meet the requirement providing that they contain all the necessary requirements for your invoices to be valid VAT invoices (if applicable). Notwithstanding CH13300 records can be kept electronically, so long as the method of storage is capable of capturing the information accurately. It goes without saying that our own Expenses product naturally fits this description, hence the reason we were seeking clarification for our customers in the first place. I’m sure they’ll be very pleased to know they can say goodbye to the cost of storing all their paper receipts.”

Ian Hodson, Reward and Benefits Manager at The University of Lincoln and CIPP member commented, “We are really interested in this confirmation from HMRC that paper receipts are no longer needed. We did not want to fall into a potential grey area without HMRC clarification that the VAT rules on receipts records also applied to employee expenses.” 

Karen Thomson, Associate Director of Policy, Research, and Strategic Visibility, The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals commented, “It’s a relief to have some cast iron policy on paper receipts at last. Not storing or managing a huge quantity of physical documentation will save our members time and money. Working with Selenity to raise awareness of the news, we intend to recommend electronic expense systems should become a much wider-adopted standard and, importantly, be trusted more to deliver what HMRC really needs.”

For more information on specific HMRC policy to supplement the announcement please contact Gavin Loader at Mantis PR on 07977 138 512 or

About Selenity

Selenity was established in 1989 and is a leading provider of online expenses, contract, due diligence and workflow management.

The company has recently become one of only nine software companies recommended under the Cabinet Office’s Innovation Launch Pad for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to demonstrate public sector efficiency savings.

Software Europe is the first and only software supplier to use a bi-directional interface to send and receive the largest amount of expenses data with the national NHS’ ElectronicStaffRecord(ESR), a single Human Resources and Payroll database for all NHS employees. This integration gives Software Europe’s Expenses Health seamless expenses data exchange and automated payment of employees’ expenses. The company is audited to ISO/IEC 27001 securitystandard and adheres to strict Data Protection protocol.

About the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals

The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals is a 29 year-old membership organisation for payroll professionals in the UK. The Chartered Institute offers:

  • Training and professional payroll and pension qualifications
  • Professional designatory letters, e.g. MCIPP
  • Advisory Service and e-newsletter with all the latest industry news called News On Line
  • Continuing Professional Development programme encouraging self-improvement and career development structure
  • Unique standards-based accreditations such as PQP and the Payroll Assurance Scheme for processes and procedures
  • A membership magazine issued ten times a year called PayrollProfessional
  • Representation at the highest levels of government through a very active policy team
  • Participation in a long range strategy to change the perception of the payroll profession
  • Regular events, meetings, conferences

Please visit the CIPP website for more information,

For all media enquiries regarding this release please contact:

Becky Westaway, CIPP Public Relations Officer on 07813 052230 /