In Australia, companies must keep records that record and explain all transactions and other acts that are relevant for tax purposes. You may store records such as receipts in electronic form and in general, you do not have to keep the original paper record.
You can find an overview of record-keeping rules, for paper and electronic records, on the Australian Taxation Office’s website. The ATO’s view on record keeping in electronic form is explained in Tax Ruling TR 2018/2.
In summary, the following requirements apply to (electronic) record keeping in Australia:
- The electronic reproductions of original paper records should be a complete and accurate copy of the original document;
- Records must not be altered or manipulated and must be stored in a way that restricts the information from being altered or manipulated;
- Records must be retained for five years after the records are prepared or obtained, or the transactions are completed, whichever occurs later;
- You must keep all information about any routine procedures you have for destroying electronic records;
- Records must be available in a readable format for the ATO on request;
- Records must be available in English, or in a form that is accessible and easily convertible to English for the ATO.