5 most common tax time mistakes

With Tax Time 2018 upon us, the ATO has prepared a guide of the five most common mistakes they see, as follows:

  • leaving out some of income, such as forgetting a temporary or cash job, capital gains on cryptocurrency, or money earned from the sharing economy;

  • claiming deductions for personal expenses, such as home to work travel, normal clothes, or personal phone calls;

  • forgetting to keep receipts or records of expenses - around half of the adjustments the ATO makes are because the taxpayer had no records or they were of poor quality;

  • claiming something you never paid for (often because of a belief that everyone is entitled to a 'standard deduction'); and

  • claiming personal expenses for rental properties - either claiming deductions for times when the taxpayer was using the property themselves, or claiming interest on loans used to buy personal assets like a car or boat.

ATO Assistant Commissioner, Kath Anderson, has reiterated the three 'golden rules' for work-related expenses: "You must have spent the money yourself and not have been reimbursed, it must be directly related to earning your income, and you must have a record to prove it."

If you would like assistance with your 2018 personal income tax return, contact us to be added to our lodgement list. Make sure you do so before the end of October to stay of the ATO's naughty list!

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