There are probably countless invoices that pass through your hands on a daily basis. But after all, what is the fate that gives them? Save it in a folder? Crumple it up and throw it away? This is a topic that can raise some questions so we decided to address it.


Is it necessary to keep the invoices?

It is common practice, whenever someone purchases a good or service, they ask for an invoice with the taxpayer number. This is because, for example, this is essential to activate the respective guarantee in the event of a breakdown or defect. However, just asking for the invoice is not enough. You must keep them for a minimum period previously stipulated. But what period is this?


How long should we keep invoices?

The truth is, there is no single answer to this question. This period can range from six months to five years, depending on the category in which the good or service is inserted.

We proceed to explain:

6 months

Essential public services

Internet, water, gas, electricity and telephone are part of the essential public services. The respective invoices must be kept for a minimum period of 6 months. Why? Because it is the period that the companies providing these services have to charge all consumption made until then.
What does this mean? This means that, according to article 10.º of the Services Law*, if you receive an invoice with supplies of services carried out more than 6 months ago, you do not have to pay. If you decide to do so, you are acknowledging a debt and, if you later realize the error and invoke the statute of limitations on the invoice, requesting reimbursement, it will no longer be given to you.

*Article 10.º Law of Services “the right to receive the price of the service provided expires within six months after its provision”.

Food and Accommodation

Also in relation to these two sectors the minimum period is also six months. However, and pay close attention to the following, if you intend to file these expenses with the IRS, the deadline changes to four years. Period of time in which Finance can ask for the justification thereof.

1 year

House Renovations

If you have any problems with electricity, pipes, if you need to paint your house and there is a need to hire a professional, you should keep these invoices for a minimum period of 1 year. This is because if you detect any error in the service, this is the time you have to claim what happened.


2 years

Liberal Professionals (Lawyers and Doctors)

Debts to these professionals expire after two years, so you should always keep your invoices for that period.



Any type of service provided to your car, that is to say, assistance, maintenance and repair, the two-year warranty period applies. The sale of auto parts follows the same parameters.


3 years


We call movable property any type of appliance, toy, furniture, among others. These goods, whether purchased in physical stores or online, have a minimum guarantee of 3 years after the purchase is made. And why do we say that this warranty period is the minimum? Because if sellers or producers so wish, they can extend this period. It is important that, if this happens, you ask for proof of this extension so that you can take precautions.

But be careful, the situation may change if the products are second-hand goods, that is, already used by others. In these cases, the warranty can be reduced from three years to 18 months, provided there is an agreement between both parties. If this is the scenario, the obligation to keep these invoices will then only be governed by that period.

It is important that you know that the guarantee is only activated when the product is in your hands or the service has already been provided or installed. Therefore, keep the purchase invoice and the delivery/installation note. These two documents are required to activate the warranty.


Have you been sick or just wanted to make a routine appointment and went to the doctor? Be aware that you must keep invoices for medical expenses charged by public health institutions for at least three years.


4 years


Finance may, within a period of four years, carry out inspections of the IRS.
Therefore, if you have entered your invoices manually, this is the period in which you have to save them. However, we advise you to keep the invoices that are automatically entered in the E-Fatura in the same way until the income statement is settled.

Likewise, four years is the period that the Tax and Customs Authority (AT) can ask you for proof of payment of the Single Circulation Tax (IUC).


5 years

Real estate

Did you pay your rent or your condo? Keep these invoices for 5 years.

This whole process of saving invoices has become easier with the emergence of E-invoices and digital invoices. However, and despite no longer accumulating paper at home, this implies an organization that, sometimes, may not be so easy to maintain.

We therefore advise that, whatever your method, you always keep the invoice and the respective receipt to prove that you paid for the service provided to you, during the aforementioned periods.


To help you, we give you a tip: if the practice of saving invoices on paper presents a problem for you, you can, for example, scan them and save them on your computer.