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Which taxpayers will the ATO be pursuing this year?

With tax time just around the corner, it is worth while taking a look at the areas the ATO will be paying attention to this year.

Work related expenses

There has been a steady increase in the amount of work-related deductions in recent years, which has caught the ATO’s attention. Specifically, the ATO will be looking at:

  • car expenses
  • working from home deductions
  • splitting of expenses between work and personal use
  • undeclared foreign income.

Given the “Panama Papers” scandal and the use and abuse of offshore tax havens, it’s a safe bet that the ATO are looking to come down hard. An example of this was in December last year when the ATO targeted parents of 100 children whose school fees were paid from foreign bank accounts.

Don’t forget, the ATO are armed with a wealth of information. They have access to everything from bank data, foreign tax jurisdictions and informants.

Shared economy

The ATO is set to target businesses that operate in the  shared economy. Whether it’s Uber, Airbnb, Airtasker or any of the other shared economy businesses the ATO will be keeping a close eye to make sure they are compliant.

The ATO has been caught off guard by how quickly the shared economy has grown and as a result, is playing catch-up to avoid being left behind in terms of tax collection.

Small business asset write offs

With the much welcomed small business asset write off, the ATO was quick to spot the potential for abuse. Warnings have been issued to businesses not to abuse the generous rules by claiming assets used privately. Once small business owners start submitting their returns claiming asset write offs, the ATO will be paying close attention.

To save yourself the hassle of having the ATO chase you, it is important to ensure all your ducks are in a row. Head into your local H&R Block branch for friendly, professional tax advice that could save you a whole lot of trouble later.

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