This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.
End of attention
For how long should records be kept?
A taxpayer who has incurred expenditure for a tax year should, as a matter of prudence, retain records relevant to the ascertainment of that expenditure until at least the later of the following times:
- the end of the statutory record retention period under section 112 of the PRRTAA 1987, or
- the end of the statutory period of review for an assessment for the year of tax when the expenditure is fully deducted (section 167 of the PRRTAA 1987 covers the Commissioner's power to amend).
Further, where a formal dispute arises in relation to a loss, the taxpayer should retain records relevant to the ascertainment of that loss until any objection or appeal in relation to the loss is finally determined.
The need to retain documents may leave taxpayers with numerous starting base paper documents. To reduce the need for physical storage space under income tax laws, the ATO accepts the imaging of those records onto an electronic storage medium provided that the electronic copies are a true and clear reproduction of the original paper records.
An electronic copy of a record would be considered a true and clear reproduction of the original record if the record is:
- not altered or manipulated once stored, and
- stored in a format that can be accessed by the ATO3.
The ATO would also accept the above principle for extended PRRT purposes.