What the ATO is targeting this tax time

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The Australian Tax Office is targeting a number of areas including vehicle and investment property claims and it is warning those profiting from the sharing economy like AirBnB hosts and Uber drivers to declare your income.

Mark Aliprandi has been an Uber driver in Sydney for nearly three years.

"It's a pleasant way to earn a living and it fits in with anything else you're doing with your career, you can slide it in whenever you need to find the money for something that you've got, something you've got to fund."

Anything Mark earns is considered income and needs to be declared to the tax office.

"I'm going to collate all my expenses, I'm going to use my accountant because they know how to deal with things like income - depreciation is a thing I don't have a great deal of knowledge about."

Assistant Tax Commissioner, Kath Anderson says, the ATO will be focusing its efforts on the rising popularity of the sharing economy this tax time.

"We are looking at people who are Uber drivers, all the way through to people who might be providing accommodation at their house or might be doing a task for someone through something like Airtasker."

With more cars on the road and investment properties built, the ATO is taking even more notice and has these three golden rules for deductions.

Tax Deduction Golden Rules
SBS World News

Accountant at 5ways Group Paul Meissner says 'a record' doesn't always have to mean receipt.

"If you don't have a receipt don't always think that's the end, sometimes if you review bank statements or your credit card statements in certain circumstances that can have enough information to still claim a deduction."

The ATO's Kath Andersons says there are some common misconceptions though - like claiming a standard deduction.

"You can't claim a standard deduction, so for some reason people seem to confuse the fact that if your deduction is under a certain amount, you might not have to provide as much evidence of your spending, but the rule still stands that you can't claim it if you didn't actually pay for it. So that's another misconception," she said.

"Another misconception is that you can claim everyday work clothes like black pants and a white shirt, something like that, you can't claim it unless it is a uniform or protective clothing or distinctive type of clothing like chefs pants."

Paul Meissner says that doesn't mean you shouldn't ask your accountant to maximise your return.

"The biggest mistake I see for individuals is not asking your accountant whether something is deductible, you can't claim everything you don't at least inquire about.

"Small business the biggest mistake I see is not checking their personal bank statements, often times there is a business deduction or a business expense that they paid for personally, you don't want to miss out on those deductions."

Remember, the digital world has made it easier for the ATO to cross check claims, so it's best to get it right.

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