WFH, Mobiles, Meals & Motor Vehicles – Who’s In The Firing Line With The ATO?


It’s that time of the year again!

At the end of the financial year, the ATO announces a range of tax hotspots they’ll be paying careful attention to in individual income tax returns lodged.

This year, be wary of making mistakes while claiming the following:

  • Working From Home Deductions: 
  • Particularly in light of the new rules introduced this year for claims using the ATO’s new 67 cents per hour fixed rate, which will see many taxpayers caught out for failing to have proper substantiation to back up their claim.
  • Mobile phone & Internet Costs
  • A particular focus will be on people who are claiming the whole (or a substantial part) of the bill for their personal mobile as work-related
  • New for this year is the cross-over with home working claims as the new fixed rate per hour includes an element for mobile phone and internet use – the ATO will be on the lookout for double dipping!
  • Laundry Allowance & Uniforms
  • Claims for work-related clothing, dry cleaning and laundry expenses, especially when the amount of working from home could be expected to have led to a reduction in these claims.
  • Motor vehicle claims 
  • Where taxpayers take advantage of the 78 cent per kilometre flat rate available for journeys up to 5,000kms (the ATO is concerned that too many taxpayers are automatically claiming the 5,000km limit regardless of the actual amount of travel)
  • $300 Or Less Rule
  • Incorrectly claiming deductions under the rule that allows taxpayers who have incurred work-related expenses of $300 or less in total to make a claim without receipts (the ATO believes that some taxpayers are claiming this – or an amount just less than $300 – without actually incurring the expenses at all).
  • Overtime Meal Claims
  • Union Fees and Subscriptions

If you want to make sure that you understand precisely what you need to do to lodge your tax return, keep this in mind:

  • If you earned money, you need to report it.
  • If you can’t prove an expense, you can’t claim it.
  • If you want to make extra sure that you’ve got it right, see a tax agent

For assistance during the lodgement of your tax return, you can seek advice from us. We’re here to help ensure you meet your tax obligations by reporting your income correctly for this financial year.


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