Big Rigs - - NEWS -

“The trans­port in­dus­try is un­der sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial pres­sure, with no or­gan­i­sa­tion it can turn to for re­dress, fol­low­ing the abo­li­tion of the Road Safety Re­mu­ner­a­tion Tri­bunal,” Mr Kaine said.

“This move by the ATO shows how out of touch the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s ad­min­is­tra­tion is on these re­al­i­ties in trans­port.”

In rare al­liance with the TWU, NatRoad stood equally de­fi­ant against the change.

“At a time where the Fed­eral Govern­ment and in­dus­try is work­ing to­gether to re­duce the com­pli­ance bur­den, this change will neg­a­tively im­pact small busi­nesses and their em­ploy­ees,” NatRoad chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Warren Clark said.

In re­sponse, how­ever, the ATO claims it had con­sulted with the in­dus­try on the rea­son­able ex­pense amounts, in­clud­ing for the trans­port in­dus­try.

When ques­tioned by Big Rigs on the na­ture of the con­sul­ta­tion, the ATO pointed to a con­sul­ta­tion pa­per pub­lished on its web­site on Septem­ber 30 and emails sent at the time.

“This pa­per pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity for all in­ter­ested par­ties to re­spond to us with their feed­back, opin­ions and sug­ges­tions,” an ATO spokesman said.

“As part of the con­sul­ta­tion process, emails were sent di­rectly to more than 60 in­dus­try groups re­ques­tion feed­back on the con­sul­ta­tion pa­per.

“Al­most half of these emails were sent to fed­eral and state-based or­gan­i­sa­tions and as­so­ci­a­tions within the trans­port in­dus­try.”

These in­cluded the ATA, NatRoad, Owner Driv­ers As­so­ci­a­tion and a num­ber of state groups.

The ATO spokesman said there were a num­ber of prac­ti­cal is­sues high­lighted by re­cent Ad­min­is­tra­tive Ap­peals Tri­bunal de­ci­sions that also led to the change.

“For ex­am­ple, claims were be­ing made for days not as­so­ci­ated with overnight travel, and also the to­tal daily rate was be­ing claimed, in­clud­ing for meals that had not been con­sumed when trav­el­ling, for ex­am­ple, when the travel had con­cluded in the af­ter­noon and din­ner was con­sumed at home,” the ATO spokesman said.

The ATO did con­firm a driver may still claim a higher amount of de­duc­tions for their meals if they re­tained a re­ceipt.

ARTIO will be meet­ing with the ATO this month.


TRAVEL EX­PENSE: The amount the de­ter­mi­na­tion con­sid­ers rea­son­able has dropped from $97 to $55.30.

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