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Uber Drivers, Airbnb On Notice: Australian Tax Office

ATO cracking down on dodgy claims

Uber Drivers, Airbnb On Notice: Australian Tax Office

A warning if you're getting your deductions ready for the end of financial year. 

The Australian Tax Office is expanding its technology to catch out dodgy claims, and will be keeping a close eye on work expenses. 

H&R Block director of tax communications Mark Chapman says certain types of claims will be closely investigated.

"Things like travel claims, claims for self-education, claims for uniforms and occupational clothing. They’re really under the spotlight this year,” he said.

In 2016, the ATO used real-time monitoring to assess the legitimacy of $3.2 million worth of returns, resulting in over 100,000 people altering their deductions.

The new monitoring system will use collated data to examine claims which are unusually high for a particular demographic or area, while agents who lodge more than $9 million in returns will also be targeted.

Those making their cash from things like Uber, eBay and Airbnb can also expect to be heavily scrutinised by the ATO. 

"There's so many people who aren't declaring their income or aren't declaring their income correctly through the sharing economy," said Mr Chapman.

TAX DEDUCTION MYTHS: 

According to the ATO you probably can't claim: 

• Trips between home and work - unless carrying bulky work-related goods
• Car expenses that have been salary sacrificed
• Meal expenses for travel unless you were required to work away from home overnight
• Private travel or private transport of bulky goods or equipment
• Everyday clothes to wear to work — such as a suit or black pants — even if your employer requires you to wear them
• Deductions for cleaning eligible work clothes without showing how you calculated the cost
• Higher education contributions charged through the HELP scheme
• Self-education expenses if the study is not connected with your current job
• Private use of phone or internet
• Upfront deductions for tools and equipment costing more than $300 each. These must be depreciated over time.

For more info head to the ATO website.

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