ATO crackdown on work-related expenses

The ATO is currently targeting work-related expenses by taking a closer look at unusual deductions and claims that are higher than expected. The Tax Office will be looking for expense claims that are much higher than others who are in the same occupation and will be contacting employers to validate these claims. When claiming work-related…

ATO warns pre-retirees on SMSF tax schemes

The ATO has its sight set on individuals participating in an increasing number of aggressive tax avoidance and retirement planning schemes in self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF). The Tax Office has launched Super Scheme Smart, an initiative designed to help inform individuals and advisers about illegal retirement planning schemes. The program is a result of an…

Work-related items that are exempt from FBT

There are a number of employee benefits that are exempt from fringe benefits tax (FBT). They include the following work-related items: – portable electronic devices (mobile phones, laptops, tablets, portable printers and GPS   navigation receivers) – computer software – protective clothing – briefcases – tools of trade The FBT exemption is limited to items…

Reducing the risk of refund fraud

Refund fraud occurs where tax returns, activity statements and other documents are deliberately falsified in order to claim a tax refund a taxpayer is not entitled to. Fraudulent claims can be lodged by individuals on their own account or third parties on behalf of others. Often, this can involve identity crime, where taxpayer identities are…

Rental property owners on ATO radar

The Australian Tax Office has announced that it will be paying close attention to rental property owners during this tax season, especially in areas where excessive interest expenses are claimed and where there is an incorrect apportionment of rental income and expenses between rental property owners. The ATO will also be focusing on those who…

Taxation of employment termination payments (ETPs)

Redundancies, whether forced or elective, can become complex as there are many taxation issues to consider when receiving a payout. The most common form of payment an employee will receive is an employment termination payment. Employment termination payments (ETPs) include payments for unused rostered days off or for unused sick leave; payments in lieu of…

Claiming mobile phone expenses

With tax time fast approaching, now is a good time to review those tax deductions that are often easily forgotten such as mobile phone expenses. Mobile phone expenses can generally be claimed as a tax deduction provided they are used for work purposes, such as receiving or making work calls. When claiming expenses you will…

ATO targets rental property owners

The Tax Office is focusing on rental property owners this tax time and is encouraging rental owners to understand their obligations and check their claims are right before lodging their tax returns. The ATO will be paying close attention to excessive interest expense claims and incorrect apportionment of rental income and expenses between owners. The…