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  • Managing risks to your records

    By law, you must keep business records to allow us to work out how much tax you are liable to pay. These records, whether they are kept manually or electronically, may be at risk of damage or loss if they aren't stored securely and safely.

    Storage

    Reconstructing business and tax records can be time consuming and costly.

    We recommend you:

    • store your business records, whether they are manual or electronic, securely and safe from theft, fire or flood damage, and
    • make regular back-up copies of electronic records and store them in a safe place – preferably away from your business premises.

    Electronic storage of paper records

    You can store and keep paper records electronically. We accept the imaging of business paper records onto an electronic storage medium, provided the electronic copies are:

    • a true and clear reproduction of the original paper records
    • kept for five years
    • capable of being retrieved and read by us at all times.

    You don’t have to keep original paper records once they have been imaged onto an electronic storage medium.

    Lost or destroyed records

    There may be times when your records are lost or destroyed – for example, if your home has been subject to theft, fire or flood damage.

    If you're unable to reconstruct your records, you may still be able to claim deductions for certain expenses if either of the following apply:

    • you have a complete copy of a lost or destroyed document
    • we are satisfied that you took reasonable precautions to prevent the loss or destruction and, if the document was written evidence, it is not reasonably possible to obtain a substitute document.

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    Last modified: 09 Feb 2017QC 43005