ATO News – June 2021

ATO warns on ‘copy/pasting’ claims

The ATO is alerting taxpayers that its sights are set on work-related expenses like car and travel claims that are predicted to decrease in this year’s tax returns.

Assistant Commissioner Tim Loh noted that COVID-19 has changed people’s work habits, so the ATO expects their work-related expenses will reflect this.

“We know many people started working from home during COVID-19, so a jump in these claims is expected,” Mr Loh said.

“But, if you are working at home, we would not expect to see claims for travelling between worksites, laundering uniforms or business trips.”

The ATO will also look closely at anyone with significant working from home expenses, that maintains or increases their claims for things like car, travel or clothing expenses:

“You can’t simply copy and paste previous year’s claims without evidence.”

“But we know some of these unusual claims may be legitimate.  So, if you explain your claim with evidence, you have nothing to fear.”

New ATO data-matching programs involving property

The ATO has advised that it will engage in two new data matching programs dealing with property transactions, as outlined below:

  • The ATO will acquire property management data from property management software providers for the 2018/19 through to 2022/23 financial years (relating to approximately 1.6 million individuals); and
  • The ATO will acquire rental bond data relating to approximately 350,000 individuals from state and territory rental bond regulators bi-annually through to 30 June 2023.
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