“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. —- Benjamin Franklin

While tax minimization in the legal frame is what we are aiming for, a lot of Australian taxpayers still dreaming about cheating on taxes. Now ATO gives you more reasons to stop that. ATO data matching tools are more powerful than ever, if you cheat, you will get caught. Not mentioned tax fraudulence is a serious offence to the law.

Tax time is coming again soon, and in order to compensate the federal government serious deficit situation, ATO is giving their best shot to catch those tax shorters. Not only they are auditing millions of people’s work-related expenses, but also, they got eyes on rental property owners. In the meantime, ATO has partnered with the Australian Immigration Department as well targeting the high risk of fraud visa holders and educational institutions and is reviewing more than millions of visa holders tax returns.

During the past year, the ATO has contacted more than 100,000 rental property owners to inform them about their entitlements or ask them to clarify claims made. This included letters to more than 1000 holiday-home owners suggesting that they review their claims before lodging their next tax return.

This year common deductions related to work and rental property would be under watch.

In the case of the above tax audit review process last financial year, the ATO has recovered $950 million Australian dollars in tax. The ATO is trying to get everyone to do the right thing, we want taxpayers to declare the actual spent, not less, not more —- Said by the ATO Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte.

It is reported that about two million Australians have investment properties. And as we mentioned, these investment property owners are also became the target of the ATO.

The ATO Assistant Commissioner Adam Kendrick said, the biggest mistake the investment property owners made is that, some people put unpaid repair and maintenance expenses into their claims.

Every year, about 12.4 million Australians claim more than 300 million tax refund from the ATO. And the ATO will take measures to continue to monitor the refund.

The ATO reminds work-related refund must pay attention to what matters,

  1. Must be for yourself;
  2. Must be work-related;
  3. There must be evidence to prove it.

The ATO also reminds that work-related car expenses will be also their main focus of auditing.

The ATO estimates that this financial year, about 70% of Australians will file their tax returns via a tax agent service like One Minute Tax, the rest will submit their tax return by their own.

However, if you intend to use the ATO’s newest system MyTax to fill your tax return, you should pay the attention,

The system will inform you unusual tax refund items, therefore you can review it and make sure you submit it correctly. And if you insist not to change it, you have high chance to get a red flag from the ATO.