ATO focuses on unusually high work-related expense claims
Work-related claims such as claims for car, travel, self-education and clothing expenses, represent one of the largest categories of claims made in individual tax returns. Around 8.5 million individuals claim work-related expenses on their tax return each year with total claims amounting to around $21 billion each year.
The ATO is using enhanced technology and extensive data matching to closely monitor work-related expense claims for the 2017 income year by comparing a taxpayer’s claims in the Individual tax return against claims made by taxpayers in similar circumstances (ie. taxpayers with the same occupation and earning a similar level of salary income).
For example, where the ATO identifies that a taxpayer’s work-related travel expense claims are unusually high, the ATO has advised that it will contact the taxpayer’s employer to obtain more information about the taxpayer’s circumstances – whether any allowance was paid by the employer to the employee, what was the nature of the employee’s duties relative to their claim, whether the employee was required to undertake any travel in relation to their work and whether the employee was reimbursed by their employer for the relevant expenses. Where information provided by the employer indicates that the taxpayer’s claims were incorrect, the taxpayer’s claims will be further investigated and adjustments potentially made to the taxpayer’s tax return.
When making a work-related expense claim:
- the money must have been spent yourself and not been reimbursed
- it must be directly related to earning your income
- you must have supporting records to prove these expenses.
If you have a query regarding work-related expense claims or require assistance with your tax returns contact one of our Tax Accountants on (02) 9223 9166 to discuss. Alternatively, you can submit an online enquiry form.