Records of 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 dispose of, the asset. However, there are different time periods and requirements that apply if the depreciating asset is in a low-value pool or is subject to rollover relief. 

Information your records need to show

Examples of types of records

  • The first element of cost (generally the purchase price).
  • Any second elements of cost (generally the expense of getting the asset ready for use). 
  • The opening adjustable value for the income year. 
  • Any adjustments made to the cost or adjustable value. 
  • The date you started holding the asset and its start time. 
  • The rate or effective life used to work out the decline in value. 
  • The method used to work out the decline in value. 
  • The amount of your deduction for the decline in value and any reduction for use of the asset for a non-taxable purpose. 
  • The adjustable value at the end of the income year. 
  • Any recoupment of cost you have included in assessable income. 
  • If a balancing adjustment event occurs for the asset during the year: 
    • the date of the balancing adjustment event 
    • termination value 
    • adjustable value at that time 
    • the balancing adjustment amount 
    • any reduction of the balancing adjustment amount 
    • details of any rollover or balancing adjustment relief. 

You must also keep: 

  • details of how you worked out the effective life of a depreciating asset where you have not adopted the effective life determined by the Commissioner of Taxation 
  • if you have recalculated the effective life of an asset 
    • the date of the recalculation 
    • the recalculated effective life 
    • the reason for the recalculation 
    • details of how you worked out the recalculated effective life 
  • information you used to work out your claim, such as the amount of any private use of the assets.
  • Original documents such as suppliers’ invoices and receipts for expenditure on the depreciating asset. 
  • Depreciation schedule. 
  • Sale contract. 

Additional record-keeping requirements apply if you acquire an asset from an associate, or if you acquire a depreciating asset and the user is the same or is an associate of the former user. 

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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