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ATO catches up with the digital age: electronic receipts are ok

New taxation ruling on the use of electronic records for receipts

The ATO’s latest taxation ruling brings Australians up to speed on when it’s ok to use electronic records including encrypted, ecommerce and in the cloud records. At a glance, things to know:

1. Computer-generated documents are admissible evidence in taxation matters
2. True and clear electronic reproductions of original paper records are ok – and in most cases for our clients better. For example, you can keep all receipts in Xero and not have to go looking through files to find them, also a clear scan of a receipt that is likely to fade later is better than keeping the original that you can’t see after a few months. 
3. If ATO needs to access your electronic records for taxation purposes they have the power to do so but of course would prefer your cooperation if requested. 
4. Electronic records are subject to the same record keeping requirements as paper records. This includes encrypted records, e-commerce records and records stored in the cloud. 

Transaction records, whether electronic or paper, must:

1. Not be altered or manipulated and stored in a way that restricts information from being altered or manipulated.
2. Generally, be retained for 5 years after they are prepared, obtained or the transaction is completed, whichever occurs later.
3. Be capable of being retrieved and read by the ATO.
4. Be in English or easily converted to English.

This is a quick summary but to ensure you comply read the full ruling available on the ATO website, or contact us for more information.