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Stock and asset records

You need to keep records for expenses related to buying, maintaining, repairing and selling business assets and stock.

Last updated 27 November 2019

You need to keep records of all transactions related to buying, maintaining, repairing and selling business assets or stock so you can substantiate the amounts reported in your tax return.

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Records from stocktakes

If your business buys or sells stock and is required to do a stocktake, you need to keep records showing the following information:

  • a list describing each article of stock on hand and its value
  • who did the stocktake
  • how and when it was done
  • who valued the stock and the basis of the valuation.

If you are a primary producer, you should also check the special considerations regarding trading stock records you are required to keep.

Most stock records need to be kept for five years. The five years starts 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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See also:

You need keep records for depreciating assets, including those in a low-value pool or subject to rollover relief.

You need to keep records for capital gains or losses from capital gains tax assets.

ATO information for businesses about records you need to keep if you earn personal services income (PSI).