Be careful with your deductions
THE Australian Taxation Office is warning taxpayers to avoid incorrect claims for work-related expenses at tax time.
Assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said the ATO was using real-time data to compare taxpayers with others in similar occupations and income brackets, to identify higher-than-expected claims related to expenses including vehicle, travel, internet, mobile phones and self-education.
“It is important to know what you’re eligible to claim before lodging your tax return and to make sure you don’t claim more than you’re entitled to,” Ms Anderson said.
“Many taxpayers don’t have a good understanding of what deductions they can claim and believe they can claim for items which they in fact can’t. You don’t need receipts for claims up to $300 but you must have actually spent the money and be able to show us how you worked out your deduction if asked.”
Ms Anderson said deductions for work uniforms were a common trap.
“It’s a myth that you can claim everyday clothes, even if you only wear them to work and your employer says you have to,” she said.
“To legitimately claim your uniform, it needs be unique and distinctive, such as a uniform with your employer’s logo, or be specific to your occupation.
“It sounds like a small thing but we aren’t talking about small sums of money here. There are 13 million taxpayers, so if everyone over-claims even $100 that adds up to a lot.”
GET IT RIGHT: The ATO has warned people to avoid incorrect claims for work-related expenses.