Walker Hill Group

ATO Crackdown Not Over

“We will be on the lookout for unusually high claims this tax time”.

With Tax time 2021 fast approaching, the ATO have released their latest taxation statistics in a timely move. 

Collected from 14.67 million individual tax returns for the 2018–19 financial year, the statistics show that the number of individuals claiming work-related expenses dropped by almost $1 billion compared to last year. Total deductions for work-related expenses in 2018–2019 stood at $20.7 billion — $980 million less than the previous financial year.

The release of the statistics comes on the heels of the Tax Office again warning individuals and companies against making reckless work-related claims this year, with their sights set on expense claims mimicking previous years. 

Though the ATO has acknowledged that work-from-home expenses might increase due to Covid-19 restrictions, it expects to see drops in travel and car expenses related to work, with ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh warning that individuals cannot simply “copy and paste” previous claims last year- particularly in addition to work from home claims. 

“Our data analytics will be on the lookout for unusually high claims this tax time,” he told Accountant’s Daily last month. “We 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.”

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