2022 tax return: Australian Tax Office (ATO) releases its four-point ‘list of results’ – so are you one of them?

The Australian Taxation Office has confirmed its four-point hit list this tax season – revealing what it will focus on.

Record keeping, work-related expenses, income from rental property, and deductions and capital gains from cryptocurrency assets, property, and stocks are the four pillars the ATO will crack down on.

H&R Block’s director of tax communications, Mark Chapman, said the four pillars would put millions of Australians in the ATO’s sights.

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“The ATO has chosen to focus particularly on homework deductions,” he said.

“With millions of Australians having worked from home for part or all of the last fiscal year, this will inevitably be a source of stress for Australians as they try to understand the three methods of claiming.”

Work-from-home expenses should be in the ATO’s sights. Credit: Walrus Images/Getty Images

He said the ATO had introduced a temporary “shortcut method” of calculating operating expenses for people working from home, allowing them to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour worked.

But Chapman warns that could limit your comeback.

“If you use the 80 cents an hour method, you can’t make any other claims about working from home.

“So things like cell phone and internet use are included in the 80 cent rate.

“Alternatively, you can apply for the existing ATO flat-rate allowance for working from home of 52 cents per hour.

“This covers the additional costs of heating, air conditioning, lighting and the fall in value of the furniture. All you need to do to claim this is keep a diary – write down the time you start working each day, the time you finish working each day, and the breaks. You can then claim 52 cents per hour for each hour of work.

Investment properties and vacation homes will also be scrutinized.
Investment properties and vacation homes will also be scrutinized. Credit: Edwin Tan/Getty Images

The difference between the two rates, he says, is that you can make separate claims for the work-related proportions of internet, cellphone and other charges under the 52-cent method.

“These additional costs often make this a preferred method because the size of the claim is often much larger than using the 80-cent rate.”

He also warned against the common mistake of trying to claim rent.

“So-called ‘occupation expenses’ cannot be claimed,” he said.

“These include things like mortgage interest (for landlords), rent, rates and home insurance. That’s because these are “fixed” costs and they don’t change just because you’re working from home.

The exception, he says, is when someone runs their business from home.

If so, an occupancy proportion may be claimed – but you run the risk of losing part of any capital gains tax exemption.

Tax experts are warning Australians not to forget to declare their crypto assets.
Tax experts are warning Australians not to forget to declare their crypto assets. Credit: xavier laurent/Getty Images

Real estate assets will also come under the microscope, Chapman says, after 90% of returns involving investment properties and vacation homes had errors.

“The focus on investment property owners is likely to be particularly pronounced as rental losses are likely to be larger than normal this year due to the impact rental yields have suffered during the COVID-19 crisis” , did he declare.

“H&R Block’s key advice is to ensure owners keep good records.

“The rule of thumb is: if you can’t substantiate it, you can’t claim it, so it’s essential to keep invoices, receipts and bank statements for all property expenses, along with proof that your property was available for rent, such as rental listings.

Regarding cryptocurrency, he said that the ATO estimates that between 500,000 and 1 million people have tried their hand at crypto-assets.

“More and more taxpayers are jumping on the bandwagon and the ATO believes that some of them are not reporting the profits – and in some cases the losses – they make on their investments,” he said. he declares.

“Remember that investing in cryptocurrencies may result in capital gains tax on profits. Traders may be taxed on their profits as business income.

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