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ATO AUDIT OR OBJECTIONS General Work-Related Expenses

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) choose to audit certain industries or individuals each year. This blog is the second of our two part series on some key areas that the ATO look at when conducting an audit, or when you decide to object a reduction in your tax return claims relating to general work-related claims (such as phone, internet and clothing claims).

What will happen if I get audited or object an ATO reduction?

If you get audited, you will be notified by the ATO in writing that have objections to your tax assessment. In this letter, they will request supporting information for your claims, which could include the phone and internet provider bills and usage breakdown of the work vs personal use. The ATO may also call you, or your employer, to confirm information about your tax return.

If you are objecting an ATO decision,  you will need to complete an Objection form – for tax payers form and fax or post the form to the ATO. This form will include information on why you think the decision is incorrect and any supporting document that you must back up your opinion. Alternatively, your tax agent (or the team at Walker Hill) can lodge this form on your behalf.


What exactly will the ATO look at?

This depends on what information the ATO are wanting to confirm, and what sections of your claim they are disputing. However, with an audit which includes the magnifying glass being pulled out on work-related expense claims, the ATO will be wanting to check that the expenses you have claimed are legitimately for work purposes, that the usage that you’ve applied for is correct (in relation to the amount that you use your phone for personal vs work) and if your phone and internet are bundled and how this could affect your claim.


What happens if I do not have a receipts or calculations for my claims?

Unfortunately, the ATO can decide how lenient they wish to be (or not be) if you can only provide them with incomplete information. In this instance, the ATO may choose to reject your objection or part of your objection. Regardless of their decision, you will be notified in writing with their supporting documentation on why and how they have reached the decision they have come to, including citing legislation, case studies and other information that they may have such as correspondence.

How do I find out more?

If you’d like further information on ATO objections and audits, feel free to contact us at Walker Hill by emailing or calling our office on 07 3367 3155.