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What to keep and how long to keep it

Tax records should be kept on a year-round basis, not hastily assembled just for your annual tax appointment. Without tax records, you can lose valuable deductions by forgetting them on your tax return, or you may have unsubstantiated items disallowed if you are audited.

Generally, returns can be audited for up to three years after filing. However, the ATO may audit for up to five years if there is substantial unreported income. The three and five year limits start with the filing of a tax return.

Which records are important?

Records of income received.

Expense items, especially work-related.

Investment purchases and sales information.

The documents for inherited property.

Medical expenses.

Charitable contributions (records vary with value of gift).

Interest and taxes paid.

How long should records be kept?

Just how long you should keep records is partly a matter of judgment and a statutes of limitations. It is a good idea to keep most records for seven years after the return filing date.

There are some records worth keeping permanently, partly due to long-term needs and partly because they take up very little room. Consider permanently retaining a copy of each year's tax return, contracts, real estate buy/sell records and records of property improvements.

If you are in business, your record requirements are more extensive. Please call us; we will be happy to assist you with a system of record retention for your business.


Tax Accountants Australia provides quality Accounting, Bookkeeping, Business Advisory and Tax Return Preparation services to clients. Whether you are looking for a Tax Agent Casula Tax Agent Chipping Norton Tax Agent Denham Court Tax Agent Hammondville Tax Agent Holsworthy Tax Agent Horningsea Park Tax Agent Hoxton Park Tax Agent Prestons Tax Agent Glenfield Tax Agent Liverpool Tax Agent Lurnea Tax Agent Tax Agent Moorebank Tax Agent Wattle Grove Tax Agent Warwick Farm or Tax Agent in other suburbs of South West Sydney, NSW area, call 1300 889 848 to book an appointment...