• 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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  • 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.