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ATO WARNS AGAINST INCORRECT CLAIMS FOR WORK-RELATED EXPENSES
The ATO is warning taxpayers to avoid incorrect claims for work-related expenses. The tax office advises that it is using real-time data comparing taxpayers in similar occupations and tax brackets, which will enable them to identify higher-than-expected deductions claims.
The ATO notes in particular that:
• although receipts are not required for claims up to $300, it is a requirement that the taxpayer actually spent the money claimed, and taxpayers need to be able to demonstrate how they calculated a deduction of up to $300 if no receipts are retained
• it is not generally allowable to claim a deduction for everyday clothes even if the style of clothes is specified for the employer and the clothes are only worn for work - to qualify for an allowable deduction, the clothes must be unique and distinctive (eg a uniform with the employer's logo) or specific to the occupation and not suitable for everyday use (eg chef's pants or coloured safety vests)
• most employees will not be able to make claims for:
– travel expenses for travel between home and work
– car expenses for transporting bulky tools or equipment (unless the tools are needed for the job and the employer requires the employee to transport them)
– car expenses that have been salary sacrificed
– meal expenses for travel, unless the employee was required to work away from home overnight
– the private portion of a trip that is both for work and for private purposes
– private use of phone or internet expenses, or
– self-education expenses for future or "dream" jobs.