Records to keep when preparing to do your tax return


17 November 2021

To assist your accountant when preparing your tax return, it is important that you keep good records of your income and expenses so that they can help you claim all your entitlements. Good records will also help substantiate the information filled in on your tax return.

What records should I keep for my tax return?

You should keep records of all your income and expenses. This might include:

  • Income statements from your employer.

  • Bank statements showing interest earned.

  • Dividend statements.

  • Summaries from managed investment funds.

  • Tenant and rental records.

  • Receipt or invoices for equipment or asset purchases and sales.

  • Receipts and invoices for expense claims and repairs.

Generally, records need to be kept for five years from the date the tax return was lodged and for five years after you have acquired or disposed of an asset. If you are in a dispute with the ATO, such records must be kept for five years from the date the dispute is resolved.

Other tips for tax return record-keeping

When claiming for work-related expenses of more than $300, keep written records to prove your claims.

When acquiring capital assets such as shares, managed fund investments or investment properties, start keeping records immediately so that on the eventual sale of the asset, the capital gain or loss can be easily calculated.

Finally, when claiming the cost of depreciating assets you have used for work (e.g. laptops), keep the purchase receipts, depreciation schedule and details of how you calculated your claim for the decline in value.

Please get in touch with your Findex adviser for more information about record-keeping. Our Same Day Tax Refunds team can help you process your return quickly by meeting with you through video conference, telephone and in select locations face to face.

Author: Roelof van der Merwe

Roelof is the National Tax Director of Findex and has more than 15 years' experience in Australia delivering practical tax and consulting services. Roelof joined Findex after gaining experience in Big 4 and mid-tier firms. Roelof helps to ensure that Findex stays up-to-date with the latest developments by interpreting technical tax information in a practical and relevant manner. He has experience on a wide variety of complex tax related topics and has the ability to identify, understand and clearly communicate how the tax law may impact business transactions and taxpayers.