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Records of capital gains or losses from capital gains tax assets

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

Last updated 24 May 2023

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 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.

The CGT asset register is a register of information about your CGT assets that you have transferred from your CGT records (for example, invoices, receipts and contracts).

You can discard your CGT records 5 years after having an asset register entry certified if you meet all of the following:

  • you enter all the necessary information about an asset in your CGT asset register
  • the entry is in English and is certified in writing by an approved person (for example, a registered tax agent)
  • the asset register entry is certified after 31 December 1997 (although you may have acquired the asset before this date).

If you don't keep a CGT asset register, you generally must keep CGT records for at least 5 years after you dispose of an asset. For example, if you hold an asset for 10 years and then sell it, you would have to keep the records for 15 years.

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.

For information on keeping records for CGT small business concessions, visit Keeping records for CGT small business concessions

To find out more about a CGT asset register, visit TR 2002/10 Income tax: capital gains tax: asset register