With state of the art data matching capabilities, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is casting a wide net in the 2017 year. Some of the areas that appear to be on the hit list are summarised below:
1. Work Related Expenses
Performing analytics the ATO will use various benchmarks to compare taxpayers to other taxpayers in similar professions and industries. Taxpayers that fall outside a given range may be subject to investigation. Of course, a taxpayer’s claim can be quite legitimate where it is higher than the benchmark.
2. Cash Economy
While the cash economy has always been of interest to the ATO in the past, the focus is now on protecting honest businesses from unfair competition arising from the impact of wrongdoers. Third party data will be used to concentrate on industries including restaurants/ cafes, hair and beauty, and building and construction.
3. Fringe Benefits
The ATO intends to look closely at taxpayers using exempt vehicles, such as utes, which are only exempt where the private use is restricted to travelling to and from work. Public areas such as sporting venues will be visited to obtain details of number plates to monitor any private use.
As the ATO hit list becomes longer, it is important that taxpayers are aware of their obligations and seek professional advice as and when needed to remain compliant. If you have any questions about your taxation affairs do not hesitate to contact John or David to discuss the matter.