Beginning every month Rajesh our senior tax advisor will provide his Tax Tips so tune in every month. This Month my focus will be ATO Scams, ATO warnings, Rental Property Deductions and Depreciation Rules.

Beware Of ATO SMS and phone scams

The ATO has advised that it is using SMS and emails for promotional and information purposes. They say that if individual taxpayers receive an SMS or email claiming to be form the ATO, they can check the list of the ATO’s current activities to verify that it is genuine. However the ATO will never ask taxpayers to reply by SMS and/or email to provide personal information, such as the taxpayers tax file number or their personal bank account number.

 

ATO Warns over claiming is easier to detect than ever.

In relation to 2014/2015 individual tax returns the ATO says it will be focusing on:

 

  • Unusually high work related expenses claims across all industries and occupations
  • Expenses claimed that have already been reimbursed by employers and
  • Claims for private work expenses such as travel from home to work.

 

Case Study

 

In a recent case, a railway guard claimed work-related car expense for travel between his home and workplace. He indicated that this expense related to the carriage of bulky tools –including a flag,sfatey vest,handheld radio,torch and timetables. During the ATO’s investigations the employer advised that the equipment was able to be securely stored on their premises. The taxpayer’s car expense claims were disallowed because the transportation of the equipment between home and work was his personal choice.

 

ATO increase focus on rental property deductions

 

The ATO has advised that it will have an increased  focus on rental property deductions this Tax Time and is encouraging rental owners to double-check their claims are correct before lodging their tax retrun.

 

In particular, the ATO is paying close attention to:

 

  • Excessive deductions claimed for holiday homes
  • Husbands and wives deliberately and incorrectly splitting rental income and deductions
  • Claims for Repairs and Maintenance shortly after the property was purchased
  • Interest Deductions claimed for the private proportion of loans

 

ATO take on 20,000 Depreciation Rules

 

The government has expanded accelerated depreciation by allowing small business with an aggregated turnover of less than $2million to immediately deduct each asset that costs less than 20,000.

 

  • This measure runs from 12 May 2015 until 30 June 2017
  • Assets that cost 20,000 or more do not qualify.
  • It includes new and second hand assets.
  • If an entity is registered for GST it will apply to the GST exclusive amount.

 

Ashes Cricket

We wish Michael Clarke all the best in his retirement. There are not many fairytale endings in Sport but he has been a great batsman and a great captain. The task is now for Steve Smith to rebuild and regenerate the side for the next Ashes.