Housekeeping – Document Retention

February, 2013

The start of the year is a good time to check your organisation’s housekeeping is in order.

One area that often requires attention is document retention. There are many different laws that apply to not-for-profit organisations in relation to document retention and we have put together a table which sets some of these out to try to assist you to keep on top of it all:1

 Legislation  Documents you need to keep  How long you need to keep the documents for
 Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) (applies to all NFPs)    Records, receipts and other documents relating to tax returns    5 years from when the record is prepared or the transaction is completed, whichever occurs later
   Correspondence regarding tax endorsements as a charity or DGR    From when you are endorsed to 5 years after endorsement
  Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (applies to all NFPs)    Employee records, such as names, date employment began, pay details and leave details    7 years
Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (applies to public companies limited by guarantee and propriety limited companies that are NFPs)    Financial records, including receipts, invoices, banking records, details of any contracts, details of any grant payments, salary records (if employees), and other similar documents (for charities, only until 1 July 2013)   7 years
  Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (applies to all charities)    Financial records, including receipts, invoices, banking records, details of any contracts, details of any grant payments, salary records (if employees), and other similar documents (from 1 July 2013)    7 years
   Operational records, such as minutes, reports, written details of your charity’s activities, programs or services    7 years
Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW) (applies to incorporated associations in NSW)    Financial records    Not specified but suggest 7 years
   Minutes, register of committee members and register of disclosure of interests    Not specified but NSW Office of Fair Trading suggest indefinitely
  Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (VIC) (applies to incorporated associations in Victoria)    Financial statements, certificates signed by committee member regarding financial statements, accounting records, original documents lodged with Consumer Affairs Victoria    7 years
Work Health and Safety Act and Regulation 2011 (NSW) (applies to all NFPs in NSW but note that it is based on national Government strategy)    General risk assessments    28 days after the work has been completed
   Record of incident    2 years after the incident
   High risk assessments (for example, handling prohibited carcinogen)    30 years

 

 

 

1 Please note that each State/Territory has different legislation regarding incorporated associations and work health and safety. We have only included examples of that legislation.

Contact Mills Oakley

For more information, please contact:

vera-visevic-mills-oakley

Vera Visevic | Partner
T: +61 2 8289 5812
E: vvisevic@millsoakley.com.au

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