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Retention of business records

Retention of business records

REEF is often asked by members about how long they are required to retain different types of business records. Here's a summary of your obligations.

Employment records

These are regulated by various Acts, including the Fair Work Act 2009. They include records such employment status, hours worked, salary/wages, leave and superannuation entitlements, and must be kept for seven (7) years.

Industry-specific records

Section 104 of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 requires a Licensee to retain, for three (3) years after it is made, a record containing particular transactions as Licensee.

Tax records

These records are regulated by various Acts, depending on the form of taxation involved. The main categories are:

  • Income tax – Retain for five (5) years from the latter of the date on which the records were prepared or the relevant transaction was completed.
  • Payroll tax – Retain for five (5) years from the latter of the date on which the records were prepared or the relevant transaction was completed.
  • CGT – Retain for the duration of the ownership of the asset, plus five (5) years from the end of the accounting period in which disposal occurred.
  • FBT – Retain for five (5) years from the latter of the date on which the records were prepared or the relevant transaction was completed.

Company records

These are regulated by various Acts, including the Corporations Act 2001. The main categories are:

  • Registers and minute books – Must be retained for five (5) years from the date of the last entry.
  • Accounting records – Must be retained for seven (7) years from the completion of the transaction or conclusion of the accounting period during which the transaction took place.


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About REEF

The Real Estate Employers' Federation is the real estate industry’s leading not-for-profit employer and workplace relations advisory association. It has more than 1600 members and subscribers across Australia.

Each year, REEF receives more than 15,000 calls from real estate employers needing help and guidance on matters affecting the employment relationship.

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