ATO Data Matching Targets

Excessive work-related expense claims and incorrect rental property deductions will be the focus of the ATO's data matching systems this tax season. The ATO has warned that taxpayers falsely claiming deductions they are not entitled to should expect to be caught out and penalised.

Approximately 12 million tax returns will be scrutinised by ATO’s sophisticated data matching systems. Through systematic cross-checking of employer, bank, and government transactions, the ATO will be examining excessive deductions claimed for holiday homes, splitting of rental income between spouses and unsupported deductions for jointly owned properties. Repairs and maintenance claims on newly purchased properties and interest deductions for private proportions of loans will also be scrutinised.

Work expenses which may have already been reimbursed by employers will be a focus of ATO’s data-matching, as well as private expenses like travel from home to work.

Independent contractors suspected of avoiding their tax obligations can also expect to be the target of ATO's data-matching program. The ATO hopes to identify contractors that may not be meeting their taxation obligations by incorrectly registering or recording payments. The financial years that will be targeted include 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16.

The ATO will electronically match the payer’s ABNs against the ABNs of the contractors, and cross-check the names, contact details and the amounts paid, including GST components. The data will be electronically matched with certain ATO files to identify non-compliance. This includes non-compliance with registration, lodgement, reporting and payment obligations under taxation laws. Data may also be collected from other businesses associated with the contractor or payer businesses.

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