Records you need to keep



This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

End of attention

You must keep records of most transactions in English for five years after you prepared or obtained them, or five years after you completed the transactions or acts to which they relate, whichever is the later. Taxation Ruling TR 96/7 Record keeping - section 262A - general principles clarifies the record keeping obligations of small businesses, particularly for cash transactions.

The ATO is helping small business operators meet their record keeping obligations by reviewing their record keeping practices. These reviews start with a phone call or a brief visit to the business premises. The process is explained, you can ask questions and an interview is arranged for a later date.

Some of the more significant record keeping problems identified by the ATO are failure to:

  • record cash income and expenditure
  • account for personal drawings
  • record goods for your own use separate private expenses from business expenses
  • keep valid tax invoices for creditable acquisitions when registered for GST
  • keep adequate stock records, and
  • keep adequate records to substantiate motor vehicle claims.

For additional information, see Record keeping for small business (NAT 3029).

To find out how to get this publication or to get a CD-ROM of our electronic record keeping package e-Record, see More information.

Choice of superannuation fund

You must keep records that show you have met your choice of superannuation fund obligations. For further information about the records you need to keep, please visit our website or phone our Super Choice Infoline on 13 28 64.

Last modified: 01 Sep 2006QC 18499