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Below is a non-exhaustive list of the tax, corporate compliance and employer obligation record-keeping requirements relevant to the Data Minimisation and Retention Best Practice Guide for DSPs. 

The below links and information was last updated on 13 March 2023. This work is licensed under Attribution 4.0 International.

Relevant legislation and regulations


Legislation or Regulation
Records
Required Retention Period
Record Format
Corporations Act 2001 Financial Records
Section 286

A company, registered scheme, registrable superannuation entity or disclosing entity must keep written financial records that:
  • Correctly record and explain its transactions and financial position and performance
  • Would make true and fair financial statements able to be prepared and audited

Extends to transactions undertaken as a trustee.


7 years after the transactions covered by the records are completed. Section 287
Records may be kept in any language, but an English translation of financial records not kept in English must be made available when requested. 

Section 288
If financial records are kept in electronic form, they must be convertible into hard copy. A hard copy must be made available to a person who is entitled to inspect the records. 

Section 289
The company can decide where to keep their records.
Registers
Section 168

A company or registered scheme must set up and maintain:
  • A register of members
  • If the company or scheme grants options over unissued shares or interest - a register of option holders and copies of options documents
  • If the company issues debentures - a register of debenture holders.
A register kept under Chapter 2C.1 is proof of the matters shown in the register under the Chapter. Section 172
Registers that relate to a company (or a registered scheme) must be kept at:
  • The company's registered office
  • The company's principal place of business in this jurisdiction
  • A place in this jurisdiction (whether of the company or of someone else) where the work involved in maintaining the register is done
  • Another place in this jurisdiction approved by ASIC.

Companies or schemes must notify ASIC of the address where a register is kept within 7 after the register is:

  • Established at an office that:
    • Is not the registered office of the company or responsible entity
    • Is not the principal place of business of the company or responsible entity in this jurisdiction
  • Moved from one place to another.

Register of members
Section 169

The register of members must contain the following information about each member:
  • Member's name and address
  • Date on which the entry of the member's name in the register is made.

Register of option holders and copies of option documents
Section 170

The register of option holders must contain information about each holder of options over unissued shares in the company or unissued interests in the scheme. 

The register must be updated whenever options are exercised or expire.

Register of debenture holders
Section 171

The register of debenture holders must contain the following information about each holder of a debenture:
  • The debenture holder's name and address
  • The amount of debentures held. 

Fair Work Act 2009
Section 535
An employer must make and keep employee records of the kind prescribed in the regulations (covered below) in relation to each of its employees. An employer must not make or keep records that the employer knows are false or misleading.  7 years. Records must be in a form prescribed by the regulations (covered below) and include any information prescribed by the regulations. 
Fair Work Regulations 2009
Sections 3.31 - 3.44
Employers must keep records for each employee about: 7 years. Records must be legible, in English and in a form readily accessible to an inspector. 
Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986
Section 132
You must keep records that:
  • Show how you calculated the taxable value of benefits
  • Support any fringe benefits tax (FBT) exemptions or concessions you used.
5 years after the completion of the transactions or acts to which they relate (.e.g 5 years from the date of the FBT return). Records must be kept in English or can be easily converted to English. 
Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
Section 262A
A person carrying on a business must keep records that record and explain all transactions and other acts engaged in by the person that are relevant for any purpose of this Act. 

Records include:
  • Any documents relevant for the purpose of ascertaining income and expenditure
  • Documents containing particulars of any election, choice, estimate, determination or calculation and, in the case of an estimate, determination or calculation, particulars showing the basis on which and method by which the estimate, determination or calculation was made.
5 years after records ere prepared or obtained, or 5 years after the completion of the transactions or acts to which those records relate, whichever is later. 

5 years after an amendment.
Records must be kept in English or can be easily converted to English. 
Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992
Section 79
Employers must keep records that record and explain all transactions and other acts engaged in by the employer or required to be engaged in by the employer, under the Act. 

Records must include documents relevant to ascertaining the individual superannuation guarantee shortfalls of the employer for a quarter. 
5 years after the records were prepared or obtained, or the completion of the transactions or acts to which those records relate, whichever is later. Records must be kept in English or can be easily converted to English.
Taxation Administration Act 1953
Subdivision B
TR 2018/2
You are required to keep records that explain all electronic business transactions that are relevant for any income tax purpose. The minimum information that must be recorded:
  • Date 
  • Amount
  • Character or transaction.

A person commits an offence if:

  • The person required under, or pursuant to, a taxation law to keep any accounts, accounting records or other records; and
  • The person keeps the accounts or records; and
  • The accounts or records do not correctly record and explain the matters, transactions, acts or operations to which they related. 

There are further offences for recklessly incorrectly keeping records and incorrectly keeping records with the intention of deceiving or misleading. 

5 years after the records are prepared or obtained, or the transactions are completed, whichever occurs later. Records must not be altered or manipulated and must be stored in a way that restricts information from being altered or manipulated. They must be in English or a form the ATO can access and easily convert to English. Records must be capable of being provided to the ATO when required. 


Other relevant requirements


Requirement Records Required Retention Period
ATO Digital Service Provider Operational Security Framework Audit logging functionality must be implemented in software products to enable traceability of user access and actions. Audit logs must be kept for a minimum of 12 months. 
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) 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. 5 years after you sell or otherwise dispose of an asset unless you keep an asset register. 

A further two years for individuals or small businesses, or four years for other taxpayers from the year of the offset if you have offset a capital loss against a capital gain in a later year.
Depreciating assets You generally need to keep records of depreciating assets. For as long as you have the asset and then another 5 years after you sell or otherwise dispose of the asset. 
Goods and Services Tax (GST) You need to keep records that show the income and expenses used to calculate and support the amounts you report and claim for GST credits. This includes all sales, tax invoices and other GST-related transactions, fees, expenses, wages and any other business costs.  5 years from when you prepared or obtained the records or completed the transactions or acts those records relate to, whichever is later. 
Long Service Leave Employers must keep employee records relating to long service leave throughout an employee's employment. Retention periods for each state or territory are provided below.
ACT
Long Service Leave Act 1976
Records must be kept for 7 years after the day employment ends. 

If employment ends on the employee's death, records must be kept for 7 years after the day all amounts owing to the legal personal representative are paid. 
NSW
Long Service Leave Act 1955
Records must be kept for at least 6 years after the day employment ends.
NT
Long Service Leave Act 1981
Records must be kept for 3 years after the day employment ends. 

If employment ends on the employee's death, records must be kept for 6 years after the day all money owing to the legal personal representative are paid. 
QLD
Industrial Relations Act 2016
Employers must keep records for 6 years after the day the work to which the record relates is performed. 
SA
Long Service Leave Act 1987
Records must be kept throughout the period of the worker's service and for at least 3 years after the termination of that service. 
TAS
Long Service Leave Act 1967
Industrial Relations Act 1984
WorkSafe Tasmania
Records must be kept for 12 months after the termination of employment. 
VIC
Long Service Leave Act 2018
Employers must keep long service leave records relating to an employee for at least 7 years after the employee ceases employment. 
WA
Long Service Leave Act 1958
Records must be retained during the employment of the employee and for not less than 7 years thereafter. 
Peppol Service Provider Service Level Agreement (SLA) The Peppol Service Provider shall log all transactions executed (e.g. sent or received Peppol Business Documents) and archive the logged data for a period of time no less than stated.  5 years for message exchange services in pre-award procurement.

3 months for message exchange services in post-award procurement.
Payroll tax Employers are required to keep records of the payroll tax they pay in different states and territories: Retention periods are typically defined by state and territory tax administration legislation which is typically 5 years. 
Tax practitioner proof of identity requirements The TPB requires that registered tax practitioners keep a record of the proof of identity (POI) checks that they undertake in relation to each client and/or individual representative of a client. A minimum of 5 years after the engagement with the client has ceased.



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