• How long shall I keep my records for?

    The ATO requires all taxpayers to be able to substantiate the claims in their tax returns. RAMS explains what kind of records are involved, and how long you should keep them.

  • The Australian Taxation Office requires all taxpayers to be able to substantiate the claims in their tax returns. As such, the general rule of thumb is that all records should be kept for five years from the date the notice of assessment was sent to you.

    What types of records should I keep?

    You should keep records of all income received and expenses claimed. The documents you keep to substantiate these claims can be in written or electronic form. 

    Such documents include: 

    • PAYG payment summaries from your employer or Centrelink
    • Statements or other documentation from your financial institution showing interest amounts
    • Dividend and distribution statements Statements from real estate agents showing rent received and expenses paid
    • Receipts and tax invoices
    • Log books
    • Diaries/cashbooks showing the date, amount and particulars of any expense where a receipt cannot be obtained (eg parking tolls)
    • Statements from Medicare or a private health fund showing medical expenses
    • Documents showing the date you acquired an asset, its cost and any expenditure in relation to the asset. For example; purchase contracts for real estate and dividend reinvestment statements for shares. (Please ensure you keep the purchase and sale documentations until 5 years after the notice of assessment that contained the sale of the asset). 

    If you are not sure what to keep, it is better to keep too many records than not enough.

    Like more information?

    PO Box 698, 1st Floor, 172 Hume Street, Toowoomba Q 4350

    Phone: 07 4638 1155 Fax: 07 4638 5916

    The contents of this article is information only and not offered as advice. No responsibility can be accepted for those who act on its content without first consulting us and obtaining specific advice. Source: Robertson Scannell (www.robertson-scannell.com.au)


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    About the author

    Raymond A Ram is the RAMbassador for RAMS Financial Group. Raymond works with the RAMS team to bring simple, helpful and expert information on home loans and savings accounts to life with his down to earth and cheeky personality. He enjoys seeing everyday Australians turn their dreams of saving for a goal or getting into a home a reality. 

    Growing up in Goulburn, NSW, Raymond was brought up with good old-fashioned Aussie values of hard work and a fair go. It soon became apparent that Raymond wasn't content for the conventional path of grazing, producing the very best wool, and finding a nice sheep to settle down with. So it wasn't long before his passion for performing and his talent as a likeable larrikin shone through - landing him a few roles such as 'RAMlet'. He was even tipped to play RAM-bo at one point but chose to become star of the small screen instead as RAMbassador for RAMS. He now finds this role so much more rewarding.

    Contact your local RAMS Home Loan Centre about your home loan options.

    Raymond A Ram

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  • Disclaimer:

    While such material is published with permission, RAMS is not responsible for its accuracy or completeness.  This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness of the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.