If you own a rental property or intend to claim work-related expenses such as travel, mobile phone, car or broadband usage, you’ll be in the ATO’s crosshairs come tax time.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has declared that it will focus on rental-property owners at tax time this year. According to The Age, the ATO has contacted more than 100,000 rental property and holiday home-owners over the past year, to inform them about their entitlements and ask them to clarify any previously made claims.
Last financial year, the ATO reclaimed $950 million after auditing deductions and claims made by Aussie taxpayers, and it intends to do the same this year.
“We’re trying to help people get it right,” said the ATO’s Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte. “We want people to claim what they are entitled to – no more no less.”
More than 2 million Australians own rental properties.
One of the biggest mistakes made by landlords is claiming rental property deductions on repairs and maintenance that they were not entitled to claim.
The ATO also has its eye on the 8.5 million Australians who claim around $19.7 billion in work-related expenses each year – around $8 billion of which is claimed as work-related car costs.
And if you’re one of the many Australians who drive for car-share organisations such as Uber, you’ll also be under scrutiny.
The ATO receives information from associations and organisations including banks, employers, health insurers, state and federal agencies and overseas treaty partners.
Taxpayers hoping to lodge returns online will be happy to hear that the ATO has invested in its online system to prevent it from collapsing this year.
Many of you may recall the many frustrated users unable to lodge their tax returns last year due to the system collapsing under the weight of traffic.
Do you own a rental property or claim work-related expenses? Would this influence the way you lodge your tax return? Do you agree with the ATO’s priorities? Or should they be chasing bigger fish?