Capital gains tax assets

When you acquire a capital gains tax (CGT) asset, you need to start keeping accurate records as there may be a long period of time between acquiring and disposing of the asset. Without these records, you may end up paying more tax than necessary. 

Information your records need to show

Examples of types of records

You must keep records of every transaction, event or circumstance that may be relevant to working out whether you've made a capital gain or loss from a CGT event, including: 

  • records of the date you acquired an asset and the cost of that asset 
  • records of the date you disposed of an asset and any proceeds you received when you disposed of it 
  • details of commissions you paid or legal expenses you incurred for an asset 
  • details of improvements you made to an asset (for example, building costs such as renovation or structural improvements) 
  • details of interest on money you borrowed relating to the asset 
  • records to establish whether you've claimed an income tax deduction for an expense.
  • Receipts of purchase or transfer. 
  • Purchase contract. 
  • Sale contract. 
  • Records of agent, accountant, legal and advertising costs. 
  • Receipts for insurance costs, rates and land taxes. 
  • Any market valuations. 
  • Receipts for the cost of maintenance, repairs and modifications. 
  • Accounts showing brokerage fees on shares.

How long you need to keep capital gains tax (CGT) records 

You need to keep CGT records for 5 years after you sell or dispose of an asset, unless you keep an asset register. 

Keeping an asset register may allow you to discard some records that you might otherwise need to keep for a long time. Once details have been entered into the register and the register has been certified by an approved person (such as a registered tax agent), you only have to keep the documents for 5 years from the date the register is certified. 

For a CGT event that resulted in a capital loss which you've offset against a capital gain in a later year, you need to keep records from the year of the offset, for a further: 

  • 2 years for individuals or small businesses 
  • 4 years for other taxpayers. 

Claiming small business tax deductions

Steps Progress

What are deductions and what can I claim?

5 mins

Accounting for private use of assets

9 mins

Expenses you can never deduct

1 mins

Expenses you can deduct over time

10 mins

Stock and asset records

5 mins

Expenses you can deduct immediately

5 mins

Other deductions records

1 mins

Motor vehicle deductions

4 mins

Motor vehicle deductions records

2 mins

Related courses

1 mins

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