Be care­ful with your de­duc­tions

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

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.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

GET IT RIGHT: The ATO has warned peo­ple to avoid in­cor­rect claims for work-re­lated ex­penses.

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