Record keeping

Section 57 of the Taxation Administration Act 1999 (TAA) requires all records to be kept as necessary to enable a person's tax liability to be properly assessed.  The Commissioner may require a person to keep additional specified records.  The records are to be kept so that they correctly record and explain the matters, transactions, acts or operations to which they relate.

First Home Owner Grant applicants must satisfy the Commissioner that they have met the residency requirements.  Applicants may be required to prove residency by providing documentary evidence of their period of occupancy.  All documentary evidence should be kept for at least 5 years after the residency period. 

The records must be kept in English and be readily available for production to the Commissioner if required. 

Tax records must be retained for at least 5 years after they were made or obtained, or the transaction to which they relate is completed.


The documentation required to be retained includes but is not limited to:

  • copies of contracts, transfers, settlement statements and related documents;
  • Revenue Office forms completed for the transaction including supporting evidence;
    • income evidence (home buyer concession);
    • court orders or agreements;
    • wage records (payroll tax);
    • relationship evidence (First Home Owner Grant, home buyer concession);
    • certificate of occupancy (First Home Owner Grant, home buyer concession);
    • proof of residency (First Home Owner Grant, home buyer concession); 
  • associated transaction records (for aggregation purposes);
  • documents supporting exemption claims;
  • evidence supporting an adjustment in the purchase price;
  • third party evidence when a condition was met (e.g. finance approval, building/pest inspection);
  • valuer's report or valuation notice;  and
  • any other information relied upon (calculations, file notes, etc).

Failure to keep proper records is an offence and penalties can be imposed.

General offences

Offences under the TAA include:

  • making a record or providing information that is false or misleading;
  • destroying records;
  • omitting information;
  • failing to lodge documents or returns;
  • falsifying or concealing a taxpayer or other person’s identity;
  • failing to provide documentation or information to the Commissioner;
  • failing to answer questions of the Commissioner or authorised tax officer;  and
  • hindering or obstructing the Commissioner or authorised tax officer.

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