Tax office scrutinising expense claims

Truck drivers, electricians and sales people beware the tax office is closely monitoring all work expense claims.

The Australian tax office is promising to be lenient to people finding it tough to make ends meet, the tax office is also going after wealthy tax avoiders and employers who under pay superannuation entitlements. The Australian Taxation Office has stated that truck drivers, electricians, sales reps and marketing managers are most likely to make incorrect travel claims.

The tax office stated that the most common incorrect claims are made by people in those occupations where the claimant is carrying bulky equipment required for work.

Paul Drum Australia's general manager of research from accounting body CPA stated that the penalties for wrongly claiming work expenses would be harsh. He even suggested that they could be as high as 200 per cent of the tax avoidance.

Due to the global financial crisis, the tax office is also going to be cracking down on millionaires. This year the tax office is asking people who earn an annual income of $5 million to fill out extra pages on their tax returns. Last year this was only required for people earning more than $30 million.

The tax office will also be targeting individuals who overstate property losses or liquidate their companies to avoid paying debts. The top priorities for the tax office this year will be to deal firmly with those who deliberately evade their tax and super obligations and supporting people during the current tough times.

The tax office also stated that due to the economic downturn some employers might find it difficult to meet their superannuation obligations. The tax office will also follow up complaints from employees about employers not paying the correct superannuation guarantee contributions or not offering choice of superannuation fund.

Individuals and small to medium sized businesses can apply for a 12 month interest- free payment plan to pay off their tax bill.

Published on August 8-th, 2009 in Financial Planning
Damon Rasheed is the CEO of Rate Detective, an Australian financial service comparison sites specialising in Life Insurance, Income Protection Insurance and home loans. Damon holds a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Melbourne and has been involved in many start-up internet businesses.

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