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ATO announces it will target specific types of Work-Related Claims

 

The Australian Taxation Office is releasing a hit list of areas it will pay special attention to this tax time. In a break from tradition, the ATO is not focusing on individual occupations but instead on specific types of work-related claims.

 

This year, its watch is on people who due to their occupation type claim a tax deduction for using their computer, mobile phone or other electronic "device".

 

And that pretty much will cast the net over every occupation and taxpayer in Australia.

 

Whether you are a surgeon, tradie, teacher or flight attendant, most jobs require the use of a phone, computer or other electronic device out of hours, and this is reflected in our tax returns.

 

Of the $19.5 billion of work-related expenses claimed each year, electronic devices are grabbing a fast-growing share as the use of technology increases, ATO assistant commissioner Karen Anstis says.

 

"People are using their computers at home for work-related purposes but it is very important they understand the distinction between what is work-related and what is personal use," she says.

 

Anstis says the ATO is using increasingly sophisticated technology to check deductions and track down unusual or excessive claims.

 

"That enables us to look at every single tax return."

 

This year the ATO is also focusing on work-related claims around travel expenses, and people who transfer bulky tools and equipment between home and work.

 

"We have guides on our website for specific industries and occupations at ato.gov.au/occupations," Anstis says.

 

"The number one piece of advice I have for taxpayers is to claim the right amount - no more, no less - and have evidence to substantiate their claim."

 

The onus will always remain on the taxpayer to prove everything so have all the right documents and be able to prove all expenses. The biggest issue in an audit is documentation and substantiation of everything.

 

(Source www.news.com.au, 17 June 2014)

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