Well, vinyl records are. Income tax records on the other hand… Tim Lynch and Michael Baartz discuss how companies must retain and, when required, provide access to electronic income tax records to the ATO.
The exponential increase in how we use technology has meant that we create ‘records’ at a much greater volume. Being able to readily access these records remains of great importance – not only for operational purposes, but to ensure that relevant statutory requirements are being met.
Further, where taxpayer engagement with revenue authorities is only increasing, the ability to quickly and efficiently provide records and respond to Requests for Information is obviously of significant value.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released Taxation Ruling (TR) 2018/2 Income tax: record keeping and access - electronic records. While this ruling does not change the Commissioner’s existing views (and essentially compiles previous public advice/guidance), it is a timely reminder to reflect on existing record keeping practices.
Broadly, TR 2018/2 sets out four key factors:
In light of TR 2018/2, it is worthwhile reviewing existing document management policies and practices, to ensure that these align with relevant ATO requirements (and other statutory requirements as required). Tax Risk Management Policy documentation should also cover off on document retention and record keeping policies.