Will you be in the ATO's sights at tax time?

If you own a rental property, you’ll be in the ATO’s crosshairs come tax time.

Are you in the ATO's sights?

If you're earning extra income through sharing economy platforms such as Uber and Airbnb, or own a rental property, you’ll be in the ATO’s crosshairs come tax time.

The ATO has the powers to obtain your financial information from banks or sharing platforms and Mark Chapman, director of tax communications with H&R Block, suggests that the ATO will cross-match this data with submitted tax returns to identify false or incorrect claims.

“The ATO has very clear benchmarks about what people in particular professions should be claiming. If your claims are significantly outside of the benchmark, increasingly they will ask for substantiation. The ATO can levy a penalty of anywhere between 25-95 per cent of the unpaid tax, depending on your degree of culpability, and there’s also interest, so it can work out quite expensive,” said Mr Chapman.

Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson also confirmed that the ATO also uses real-time data to compare the tax returns of taxpayers with people in similar income brackets and occupations to find irregularities in filed tax returns.

Ms Anderson also suggested that the ATO will be paying close attention to returns for owners of rental properties in popular holiday destinations.

“We’ve noticed some people are claiming deductions for holiday homes even where the property is not genuinely being rented out, or genuinely available for rent,” said Ms Anderson.

“There’s no problem with people using their rental property for their holiday, but holiday home owners need to remember they can only claim tax deductions for expenses made during a period when the home is rented out or genuinely available for rent.”

Think you will slip through and avoid auditing? Last year, the ATO reviewed and audited 450,000 individual taxpayers, leading to more than $1.1 billion in revenue adjustments. Most of the reviewed cases involved omitted income or overclaiming entitlements.

Read more at news.com.au
Read more at ato.gov.au

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    COMMENTS

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    Rickrick
    21st Jun 2017
    11:24am
    Perhaps instead of threatening all of us poor outsiders the tax office needs to clean their own nest first in light of recent events
    TREBOR
    21st Jun 2017
    10:07pm
    **emoticons for ROFL desperately needed**

    I LOVE it when the pontificators who 'stand on their right' to dictate to we peasants suffer a cruel self-injury....

    Maybe they need to learn what Public Service is all about - service to the people and not to the clowns who sit in Parliament.

    As I've said before - sometimes it is incumbent on those handed legislation and policy to apply the Rule of Law - which essentially is what the 'distribution of powers' is all about - and actually refuse to follow some jumped-up Party line.

    I constantly, here and elsewhere, refer people to the NAZIs, who did everything according to legislation passed by their parliament.... and yet the entire world found much of that to be wrong.

    If there is one thing that the Nuremburg Trials showed us - it is that not everything voted on in a house of parliament is actually legal.........

    And beyond here be dragons....... I happen to be one of them.
    TREBOR
    21st Jun 2017
    10:10pm
    Oh - the ATO won't be after me... I'm not a tax rorter or avoider like the rich.... and I seriously doubt that my recent purchase of a 50ft yacht with no mast for (wait for it) ... $122.50 at auction, and with a fully functional motor and driving system... will make a difference.
    Ted Wards
    21st Jun 2017
    11:28am
    If you've got nothing to hide, there is no issue!
    Triss
    21st Jun 2017
    11:51am
    Wow! I reckon that's a naive comment.
    KSS
    21st Jun 2017
    12:16pm
    Why Triss? If you have declared ALL income no matter how small the amount, there will be nothing to find will there even if you are personally audited.
    Triss
    21st Jun 2017
    1:38pm
    Mmmm, maybe I'm being cynical.
    Retired Knowall
    21st Jun 2017
    7:16pm
    Yep
    srs21
    21st Jun 2017
    12:51pm
    Look out one and all....the ATO is going offshore. The Asian country above us will have easy access to all our info. Thanks to our federal govt.
    john
    21st Jun 2017
    12:57pm
    WHAT?
    TREBOR
    21st Jun 2017
    10:13pm
    It's true - the idiots at the 'top' have decided they can out-source our tax system now.

    But they don't have to justify that to you... you peasant...... who do you think you are to expect that elected representatives and paid out of your money servants should do what is right for THIS nation first and foremost, let aloe for the people who live here?

    Bloody peasants... give 'em a vote and they think the country should run for them.... and be answerable to them.....
    john
    21st Jun 2017
    12:55pm
    If you haven't had a tenant for 6 months , you have nothing to fear from the tax man.
    You have no money for him to count up! And steal?
    ronnieb
    21st Jun 2017
    1:43pm
    Well, that should catch a few politicians, with multiple properties being claimed as exempt from land tax and fringe benefits tax they will be liable if the ATO looks closely enough. Don't forget, its not just income the ATO are looking at its also the enormous tax deductions some high income people are claiming.
    TREBOR
    21st Jun 2017
    10:16pm
    Nah - the game for today is to look at the pensioners and retirees who are such a drain on this economy, and make sure they aren't sneaking $10 here and there....

    On the broader scale - this kind of economic terrorism is intended to clearly infuse into the general public a fear of government, and thus ensure that the peasants who are being rorted daily by this government of two parties and their cronies, will not feel any incentive to even protest.

    Don't you DARE try to get one thing going for you.. they'll get you!
    Old Man
    21st Jun 2017
    3:39pm
    We advised the ATO some years back that we would no longer need to submit a tax return. We sleep comfortably each night. If people are rorting the system then they should be brought to book and be required to pay the outstanding debts. It's different when people avoid tax by using the laws (although the same laws are ridiculous in some cases) to those who evade tax by not telling the truth about their income.
    TREBOR
    21st Jun 2017
    10:19pm
    I think, OM, that the question is:- What constitutes rorting or unfair advantage, and what does not?"

    Once again - beyond here be dragons... and I happen to be one of them.

    The tax laws have been deliberately designed to offer advantage to some and not others..... it depends on whether or not you pass the 'glass ceiling' of income and connections....... if you are below that you are fair game..... if above that, you are exempt from scrutiny in any real terms....

    Rank behaviour hath its privileges....