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Tax receipts: A simple guide for business owners

What types of tax receipts should you keep?

When you own a small business, you want to get every possible deduction on your taxes. Without tax receipts, the maximum amount you can claim is $300. That’s why it’s important to keep a tax receipt for every expense, such as:  


If you travel for work and are away from home overnight, you may be able to claim your travel expenses. You may also be able to claim costs associated with your employees’ travel, if you reimburse them. Keep all travel-related receipts for accommodations, meals, airfare and other types of transportation. 

Vehicle use

Work-related vehicle expenses, such as petrol and maintenance, may be deductible in some cases. You’ll need detailed records, including odometer readings, to show the Australian Tax Office (ATO) when you used your personal vehicle for business purposes.  

Clothing and footwear

You may be able to deduct the cost of items that you wear to protect yourself on the job — steel-toe boots, scrubs or hi-vis vests, for example. 

‘Instant’ assets

The ATO defines an instant asset as the “business portion of the cost” of an asset in its first year of use, or in the first year it’s installed and ready to use. Businesses can claim this deduction for multiple assets that meet the ATO’s criteria and cost threshold

What are the ATO tax receipt requirements?

If you intend to claim business expenses as deductions, your sales receipts must include: 

  • vendor/supplier name and their Australian business number or company number

  • cost of the purchase

  • a description of the product or service

  • the date you paid the expense

  • the date the vendor/supplier issued the receipt.

If you misplace a receipt of purchase, you might still be able to claim a deduction if your bank statement shows the date you paid for goods or services, the amount you paid and who the recipient was. 

When do you need to provide tax receipts?

If you sell products or services, you must give customers a payment receipt for any purchase exceeding $75. Customers may also request a receipt for purchases under $75, but you then have 7 days to provide one. 

How long to keep business records in Australia

Keep any personal (non-business) receipts for 5 years from the date you claimed corresponding expenses on your tax return. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission requires business filers to keep tax receipts for 7 years from the lodgement date. 

How to store receipts

Cloud storage

If you have digital copies of your receipts — photos or PDFs, for example — you can upload them to the cloud. The benefit of storing your receipts in the cloud is that you can access them from any device that’s connected to the internet.

ATO myDeductions tool

The ATO offers a free tool called myDeductions that you can use to store tax receipts. With the mobile app, you can capture a photo of a receipt, categorise it and store it to your device. Then, when it’s time to lodge your taxes, you can upload your receipts or email them to the ATO. 

Accounting software

Accounting software combines the convenience of a mobile app with the security of cloud-based storage. Upload your receipts to the software platform, then transmit them directly to the ATO when you lodge your taxes.

Accurate record keeping with MYOB

Tax time needn’t be taxing. With MYOB’s cloud-based accounting software, it’s easy to capture expenses on the go. This means you have an accurate view of your business cashflow while also having all your records safely stored and backed up in the cloud. At tax time you can invite your accountant or bookkeeper to your software, so you can be sure you claim everything you’re entitled to. Try MYOB FREE for 30 days today

Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

MYOB is not a registered entity pursuant to the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) and therefore cannot provide taxation advice to clients. If you have a query concerning taxation including filing your BAS return or annual tax statements then you should consult with your accountant or other registered tax adviser.

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