Aus­tralians on no­tice to keep their re­ceipts

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - News -

THE Aus­tralian Tax Of­fice ( ATO ) is warn­ing tax­pay­ers they will be pay­ing close at­ten­tion to claims for ‘ other’ work- re­lated ex­penses this year, and is re­mind­ing peo­ple to keep ap­pro­pri­ate records.

As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Kath An­der­son said that last year 6.7 mil­lion tax­pay­ers claimed a record $ 7.9 bil­lion in deductions for ‘ other work- re­lated ex­penses’.

“It’s a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money and Aus­tralians ex­pect us to en­sure that peo­ple are not over- claim­ing,” she said.

This year the ATO is shin­ing a spot­light on ‘ other’ deductions. Le­git­i­mate ‘ other work re­lated ex­penses’ can in­clude home of­fice, union fees, mo­bile phone and in­ter­net, over­time meals and tools and equip­ment.

“How­ever, they are only de­ductible if they meet the three golden rules.

“Firstly, you must have paid for it and not been re­im­bursed, se­condly, it must be di­rectly re­lated to earn­ing your in­come and not a pri­vate ex­pense, and thirdly, you must have a record to prove it.”

Even though tax time is months away, tax­pay­ers will be in­cur­ring ex­penses now. It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber what you need to do to be able to claim a de­duc­tion.

“Many tax­pay­ers make le­git­i­mate claims, but we are also see­ing er­rors in some claims, and some tax­pay­ers are mak­ing risky or out­right false claims”.

“Sub­stan­ti­a­tion will be a key fo­cus area for the ATO this year.” Ms An­der­son said.

“It’s im­por­tant that you have a record of the ex­pense and can demon­strate how you cal­cu­lated your claims.

“Ev­ery year we dis­al­low lots of claims be­cause there is no ev­i­dence to prove the ex­pense.

“Yet it’s so easy to keep an elec­tronic record.

“And re­mem­ber, if your ex­penses are for both work and pri­vate use you can only claim a de­duc­tion for the work- re­lated por­tion.

“We are see­ing quite a few ex­am­ples of peo­ple try­ing to claim the whole ex­pense, in­clud­ing the pri­vate por­tion.”

Ms An­der­son warned that the ATO has sophisticated sys­tems and an­a­lyt­ics to en­sure wrong­do­ing doesn’t fly un­der the radar.

“If a claim raises a red flag in the sys­tem, we will in­ves­ti­gate fur­ther.

“We have a range of strate­gies to make sure peo­ple pay the cor­rect amount of tax, rang­ing from help and ed­u­ca­tion through to au­dits and even pros­e­cu­tion for more se­ri­ous cases.”

Ms An­der­son ad­vised that to make tax time eas­ier, tax­pay­ers can use tools such as myDe­duc­tions in the ATO app to save and store ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion about their deductions dur­ing the in­come year, which they can up­load to their my Tax re­turn or pro­vide to their tax agent.

To find out more about what deductions you can le­git­i­mately claim this tax time, visit: ato. gov. au/ deductions

To find out more about the penal­ties for mak­ing false or mis­lead­ing state­ments, visit: ato. gov. au/ penalty.

For more in­for­ma­tion myDe­duc­tions, visit: ato. gov. au/ myde­duc­tions.

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