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  • Records of capital gains or losses from capital gains tax assets

    When you acquire a capital gains tax (CGT) asset, you need to start keeping good records as there may be a long period of time between acquiring and disposing of the asset. Without these records, you may end up paying more tax than necessary.

    CGT records information and examples

    Information your records need to show

    Example of records

    You must keep records of every transaction, event or circumstance that may be relevant to working out whether you've made a capital gain or loss from a capital gains tax (CGT) event, including:

    • records of the date you acquired an asset and the cost of that asset
    • records of the date you disposed of an asset and any proceeds you received when you disposed of it
    • details of commissions you paid or legal expenses you incurred for an asset
    • details of improvements you made to an asset (for example, building costs such as renovation or structural improvements)
    • details of interest on money you borrowed relating to the asset
    • records to establish whether you've claimed an income tax deduction for an item of expenditure.
    • Receipts of purchase or transfer
    • Purchase contract
    • Sale contract
    • Records of agent, accountant, legal and advertising costs
    • Receipts for insurance costs, rates and land taxes
    • Any market valuations
    • Receipts for the cost of maintenance, repairs and modifications
    • Accounts showing brokerage fees on shares

    How long you need to keep capital gains tax (CGT) records

    You need to keep CGT records for five years after you sell or otherwise dispose of an asset, unless you keep an asset register.

    Keeping an asset register may allow you to discard some records that you might otherwise need to keep for a long time. Once details have been entered into the register and the register has been certified by an approved person (such as a registered tax agent), you only have to keep the documents for five years from the date the register is certified.

    For a CGT event that resulted in a capital loss which you've offset against a capital gain in a later year, you need to keep records from the year of the offset, for a further:

    • two years for individuals or small businesses
    • four years for other taxpayers.

    See also:

    Last modified: 11 Jan 2023QC 60746