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Taxman's hit list for 2011

Jun 16, 2011

So just like Santa, the taxman has made his hit list for this year.  This year the ATO will be paying close attention to claims from people employed in the following occupations:

  • earthmoving plant operators
  • flight attendants
  • carpenters and joiners, including apprentices and trainees, and
  • real estate employees.

The first thing to do if you are in one of these occupations is not panic.  You are considered innocent until proven guilty and continue to claim your deductions that you are legally entitled to in your income tax return.  The ATO has found that the most common mistakes made by people in these occupations include:

  • not having sufficient documentation to support motor vehicle and travel expenses
  • incorrectly claiming motor vehicle expenses on the basis of carrying bulky equipment, and
  • incorrectly claiming home office, mobile phone and internet expenses.

I have written about ATO Hit lists in the past.  To help you work out your work-related expenses, the ATO offers these tips:

  • You must have incurred the expense in the year you are claiming it.
  • The expense must be work-related and not private, and if the expense has been reimbursed by your employer it cannot be claimed.
  • Receiving an allowance from your employer does not automatically entitle you to a deduction.
  • If your claims total more than $300 you need to keep records.
  • You can also use records other than paper receipts. A full list of accepted records is available on the ATO website.

The ATO also has occupation-specific guides that explain in more detail the claims you can and cannot make. This year, four new guides are available to help ensure you get your claim right:

  • Earthmoving plant operators - claiming work-related expenses
  • Flight attendants - claiming work-related expenses
  • Real estate employees - claiming work-related expenses
  • Building and construction employees - claiming work-related expenses, which primarily provides guidance for:
    • carpenters and joiners, including apprentices
    • shop fitters
    • construction labourers
    • builder's labourers
    • bricklayers
    • builders, and
    • concreters.

For more information, including copies of these guides can be found at the ATO website www.ato.gov.au/occupations or by calling 13 28 61.

Tags: DeductionsEmployeesPersonal tax

Author: Mr Taxman

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