The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has released an updated ruling which consolidates previous guidance on electronic records.
One of the key principles is that electronic records are subject to the same basic record keeping requirements as paper records, including:
These principles also apply to records that are stored in the cloud and records that relate to transactions that were carried out electronically.
The ATO confirms that it is acceptable to keep true and clear electronic reproductions of original paper records as long as the documents created through conversion processes produce a complete and accurate copy of the original documents.
Where systems are updated, the original data must be capable of being reconstructed.
Changes have also been made to strengthen existing privacy rules and require tax practitioners to take even more care with client Tax File Number (TFN) details.
The net effect of the existing privacy laws and the laws that came into effect on 22 February 2018 is that tax practitioners who are handling documents which contain a TFN and which connects that TFN to a particular person will need to take extra care to ensure that:
A failure to comply with the new legislation may result in fines of up to $2.1 million for corporations and $420,000 for other entities or individuals.
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