This financial year the ATO will be targeting individuals with excessive claims instead of targeting specific industries or professionals per prior years. The ATO uses analytic software to spot unusually high claims. Claims the ATO will be focusing on:
The ATO has announced the following target areas:
- Motor vehicle
- Home Office
- Phone and Internet
From August 2015 the ATO requires all Uber drivers to register for GST and hold an ABN. The ATO data matches income received from Uber drivers and is capable of ensure you have registered for the necessary registrations.
The ATO are reviewing claims and ensure all claims are business related and do not include any private claims.
If you rent out all or part of your house or unit through Airbnb or any other sharing platform, the payments you receive are assessable income. This means:
- You need to keep records of all income earned and declare it in your income tax return
- You need to keep records of expenses you can claim as deductions. If you are only renting part of your home, for example a single room, you can only claim expenses related to renting out that part of the house. This means you cannot claim the total amount of the expenses – you need to apportion the expenses.
- You do not need to pay GST on amounts of residential rent you earn. However, you do have to pay GST if you provide accommodation like a hotel room or serviced apartment, a bed and breakfast, or rent out commercial spaces like a function room or office space. These types of accommodations are subject to GST
- You may also need to pay capital gains tax when you sell the house or unit. Even if the house or unit is your main residence, renting out any part of it usually means losing part of your CGT main residence exemption
Thanks to data matching software the ATO has the ability to see all shares and properties bought and sold back to 1985 when capital gains was introduced. This area has been targeted for the past couple of years and continues to be an area of interest for the ATO.