What accounting records do I need to keep? ..and for how long?

You should keep records in these main categories:

  • any payments you have received
  • any expenses related to payments received
  • when you have acquired or disposed of an asset ¯ such as shares or a rental property
  • any tax deductible gifts or donations, and
  • any medical expenses.

Generally, you must keep your written evidence for five years from the date the notice of assessment is sent to you, or:

  • if you have claimed a deduction for decline in value (formerly known as depreciation), five years from the date of your last claim for decline in value
  • if you acquire or dispose of an asset, five years after it is certain that no capital gains tax (CGT) event can happen for which those records will be needed to work out a capital gain or loss, and
  • if you are in dispute with the Tax Office, the later of five years from the date you lodge your return or when the dispute is finalised.