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Business Tax Tip – Record Keeping Requirements

images/Business Tax Tips.PNGRecord Keeping

The record keeping requirements for the ATO (Australian Tax Office) are given on their website and here are the key instructions on business record keeping essentials to keep compliant.

WHY KEEP – It’s LAW - ATO -Record Keeping for Small Business it says -

By law your records must:

  • Explain all transactions;
  • Be in writing (electronic or paper);
  • Be in English or in a form that can be easily converted;
  • Be kept for five years (some records may need to be kept longer).

If you don't keep the right tax records, you can incur penalties.

How to keep records

You can keep invoicing, payment and other business transaction records electronically or on paper. The principles are the same for each, but keeping electronic records will make some tasks easier.

With the right electronic record-keeping software you can:

  • Automatically tally amounts and provide ready-made reports;
  • Produce invoices, summaries and reports for GST and income tax purposes;
  • Keep up with the latest tax rates, tax laws and rulings;
  • Report certain information to us online;
  • Save on physical storage space;
  • Back up records in case of flood, fire or theft.

If you intend to use a bookkeeper or accountant, get their advice about the best system for you – choose a system you can understand and operate easily.

What to Keep - ATO -Business Records you Need to Keepit says -

You must keep records to help you prepare your business activity statements (BAS) and annual income tax return, and to meet other tax obligations. Below is a list of the records all businesses need to keep.

Income and sales records

Records of all income and sales transactions, including tax invoices, receipt books, cash register tapes and records of cash sales.

Expense or purchase records

Records of all business expenses, including cash purchases. Records could include receipts, tax invoices, cheque book receipts, credit card vouchers and diaries to record small cash expenses. If you bought something for your business, but sometimes use it for private use, you also need to keep records showing how you worked out how much of its use is private.

Year-end records

These include lists of creditors (people you owe money to) or debtors (people that owe you money). It also includes expenses you incur buying, maintaining, repairing and selling business assets or stock. You should keep worksheets to calculate the decreasing value of your assets (also called 'depreciating assets'), stocktake sheets and capital gains tax records.

Bank records

Your banking records can include things like deposit slips, cheque butts or payment records, bank and credit card statements, and loan or lease agreements.

Your business and personal expenses should be kept separate. Separate business bank accounts are mandatory for partnerships, companies and trusts. If you're a sole trader, a separate business bank account can also make your records easier to manage.

For other records you may need to keep, see more on that page

NOTE, at the Non-Profit section on records to keep, further down that page –

Record keeping for GST

You must have a tax invoice to claim a GST credit for purchases that cost more than A$82.50 (including GST). If your purchase is for A$82.50 or less you still need to have some documentary evidence to support your GST credit claim.

Your supplier has 28 days to provide you with a tax invoice after you request one. Wait until you receive it before you claim the GST credit, even if this is in a later reporting period.

An invoice containing incorrect or incomplete information is not a valid tax invoice. You may be able to treat it as a tax invoice if it is missing information that can be obtained from other documents the supplier has given you. Alternatively, you can ask your supplier to replace it with a complete and correct tax invoice.

If a supplier does not quote its Australian business number (ABN) you may be required to withhold the top rate of tax from their payment and send the withheld amount to us.

(The only thing is this is under the Non-Profit section)

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