Keeping your tax records.

How long do you need to keep tax records?

Keeping records is essential to help prepare an accurate tax return and support the claims you make, you need to keep careful records.

What you need to keep depends on your personal circumstances but if you are unsure, it is always better to keep more information than not enough.

In most cases you need to keep your written evidence for five years from the date you lodge your tax return.

For example, if you lodged your 2017-18 tax return in March 2019, you would need to keep your written evidence until March 2024.

In some cases you need to keep records for a longer period.

Examples of this include when selling an asset subject to capital gains tax or claiming depreciation on an asset.

You would be required to keep the records for five years after disposing of the relevant asset.

Since there is no simple answer to how long you should keep your tax records for, we recommend that you permanently keep all records electronically, which is convenient and allows for multiple redundancies in the case of disaster.

The last thing you want is to be facing an ATO tax audit without sufficient evidence to substantiate your claims.

Documents that you are required to keep can be in written or electronic form. If you make paper or electronic copies they must be a true and clear reproduction of the original.

We recommend that if you store your records electronically you make a backup copy to ensure the evidence is easily accessible if the original becomes inaccessible or unreadable – for example, where a hard drive is corrupted.

If you are unsure on your record keeping requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact our office for expert advice.

 

 

 

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