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  • Pay as you go (PAYG) records

    You need to keep records of your pay as you go instalment (PAYG instalments) and pay as you go withholding (PAYG withholding) transactions.

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    PAYG instalments records

    You need to keep calculations of PAYG instalment amounts as well as payment receipts or bank statements for payments of your business activity statement (BAS) or instalment notice.

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    PAYG withholding records

    You need to keep the following information and records to support the PAYG withholding amounts you include in the PAYG tax withheld section of your BAS.

    PAYG withholding records information and examples

    Information your records need to show

    Examples of types of records

    The amounts you withheld from payments to employees and directors:

    • salary, wages, commissions, bonuses and allowances paid to employees
    • remuneration to company directors
    • retirement payments, termination of employment payments, annuities and benefit or compensation payments
     
    • Tax file number declarations (send one copy to us) and Withholding declarations, including withholding variation notices, you obtain from employees
    • Worker payment records
    • Copies of contracts you have with contractors
    • Records of wages, allowances and other payments made to workers
    • Copies of payments and reports provided to us, including annual reports of amounts you have withheld.
    • Calculations of PAYG amounts
    • Payment receipts – for payment of BAS
    • Single Touch Payroll reports
    • Records of payments made to all payees
    • Payment summaries or income statements
    • Voluntary agreements
    • Superannuation records

    The amounts you withheld from interest, dividend and royalty payments to foreign residents

    A receipt, remittance advice or similar document containing the following information:

    • your business name, ABN and branch number – if applicable
    • your payee's name
    • your payee's address
    • the period in which the payments were made
    • the total amount of gross payment, including the market value of non-cash benefits
    • the total amount of tax withheld
    • the wording 'For information about your privacy, go to ato.gov.au/privacy'
    • your payee's ABN or TFN – if known.
     

    From 1 July 2019, Single Touch Payroll (STP) is compulsory for all employers. It requires you to send your employees' salary and wages, tax withheld and super information to us, via payroll or accounting software that offers STP reporting or another STP-enabled solution, each time you run your payroll and pay your employees. The information is sent to us either directly from the software or through a third party, such as a sending service provider. You could also ask your registered agent to lodge on your behalf.

    How long you need to keep PAYG records

    You need to keep these records for five years, starting from when you prepared or obtained the records, or completed the transactions or acts those records relate to, whichever is later.

    You should keep records long enough to cover the period of review (also known as the amendment period) for an assessment that uses information from the record.

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    Last modified: 17 Nov 2020QC 60737