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Staying on top of your records

A good record keeping system is essential for small business owners.

Staying on top of your records helps to manage cash flow and prepare your business activity statements (BAS) and tax returns more easily.

Record keeping is also a legal requirement – businesses must keep records for at least five years.

In addition to keeping basic legal records, such as banking, expense and sales records; businesses should keep the following records to maximise their tax return at the end of the financial year:

Employee and contractor records
You will need to keep details of any tax file number (TFN) declarations and withholding declaration forms, wages, allowances and other payments made to workers, superannuation contributions, fringe benefits, tax deducted and employment contracts.

Depreciation
A worksheet should be kept to calculate the decreasing value of your assets (depreciating assets). Be sure to include any relevant details such as original purchase agreements or tax invoices etc.

Capital gains tax (CGT) records
Records must be kept if you have acquired or disposed of an asset. You must keep records of every transaction, event or circumstance that may be relevant to working out whether you have made a capital gain or loss from a CGT event.


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