The ATO is watching what you claim

The ATO has identified a range of deductions this year with a focus on false claims or over-claiming in the following areas:

• Claims for work-related clothing, dry cleaning and laundry expenses. The ATO has flagged it will be checking taxpayers who take advantage of the exemption from keeping receipts for people who spend less than $150 on laundry expenses. The ATO believes too many people are claiming this without actually incurring the expense.

• Deductions for home office use. The focus is on claims for “occupation” costs like rent, rates and mortgage interest. These claims are not allowable unless you’re actually running a business from home.

• Overtime meal claims – The ATO is cracking down on unreasonable claims.

• Union fees and subscriptions – These must be legitimate expenses and you may need evidence via statements form unions or professional associations.

• Mobile phone and internet costs, with a particular focus on people who are claiming the whole (or a substantial part) of the bill for their personal mobile as work related.

The ATO will impose heavy penalties on false or deliberate exaggerations of the above expenses.

For you own benefit, please contact us for assistance prior to lodging your return.