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ATO WARNS RENTAL PROPERTY OWNERS ABOUT SUSPECT RENTAL DEDUCTIONS
The ATO will double the number of audits scrutinising rental deductions and has warned rental property owners to file correct rental claims this tax time.
The ATO has flagged its intention to make rental deductions a top priority. ATO staff will investigate and prompt taxpayers to amend unjustifiable claims. While no penalties will apply for taxpayers who amend their returns due to genuine mistakes, deliberate attemtps to over-state deductions can attract penalties of up to 75% of the claim.
Key issues the ATO wil scrutinise this tax time include:
- a deduction can only be claimed on interest (or a portion of the interest) of a loan to the extent the loan was used to purchase a rental property.
- repairs or maintenance to restore something that's broken, damaged or deteriorating may be deducted immediately. However the cost of initial repairs or improvements or renovations are categorised as capital works and are only deductible over a number of years.
- expenses cannot be claimed for a family holiday home, which is generally a private asset. However, if the property is let out at below market rates to family and friends, a deduction up the the amount of income received can be made, and
-whether proper records are kept as furnishing fraudulent or doctored records may attract higher penalties and may also result in prosecution.