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  • Detailed business record-keeping requirements

    The five rules for record keeping apply to all records your business needs to keep to meet your tax, superannuation and employer obligations.

    In this section you will find the detailed information about the types of records you are legally required to keep, for the stages of your business's life cycle and for the different tax obligations and situations relevant to your business.

    We know that different businesses will have different record-keeping needs depending on their size, structure and nature so use the section headings to choose what's relevant to your business.

    Record-keeping tips

    Ensure you understand the record-keeping requirements for your business and make it a priority to keep accurate and complete records. By doing so, you can avoid the various penalties that may apply.

    The following tips can help you get it right. They are based on common record-keeping errors we see:

    • Keep accurate records of all cash and electronic transactions.
    • Complete regular reconciliations of your sales (both cash and EFTPOS) and enter the amounts into your main business accounting software system. Depending on your business, this may be daily, weekly or monthly.
    • Where business expenses have both business and private use portions, work out and record the business portion accurately.
    • Ensure you have sufficient records to substantiate business expenses claimed as tax deductions.
    • Don't use estimates to prepare your tax returns and business activity statements (BAS). Ensure you have complete and accurate records to substantiate the information you include in them.
    • Be accurate in how you use your source records to work out the amount you claim for the research and development tax offset, if this is applicable to your business.

    You can also use our Record-keeping evaluation tool to find out how well you are currently keeping your business records.

    If you aren't sure how this information applies to your situation, ask your registered tax or BAS agent, or contact us for help. We will help you get back on track if you make an error.

    Find out about:

    To find information about the general record-keeping rules and how to set up and manage your business records:

    Last modified: 03 Dec 2019QC 60731