ATO scrutinising car claims this tax time
The ATO has announced that it will be closely examining claims for work-related car expenses this tax time as part of a broader focus on work-related expenses.
Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson said:
“We are particularly concerned about taxpayers claiming for things they are not entitled to, like private trips, trips they didn’t make, and car expenses that their employer paid for or reimbursed.”
This is no doubt because over 3.75 million people made a work-related car expense claim in 2016/17 (totalling around $8.8 billion), and, each year, around 870,000 people claim the maximum amount under the cents-per-kilometre method.
Ms Anderson said that the ATO’s ability to identify claims that are unusual has improved due to enhancements in technology and data analytics: “Our models are especially useful in identifying people claiming things like home to work travel or trips not required as part of your job . . . simply travelling from home to work is not enough to qualify, no matter how far you live from your workplace.”
Ms Anderson said there are three golden rules for taxpayers to remember to get it right.
“One – you have to have spent the money yourself and can’t have been reimbursed, two – the claim must be directly related to earning your income, and three – you need a record to prove it.”
Car limit for 2018/19
The car limit is $57,581 for the 2018/19 income year (unchanged from the previous year). This amount limits depreciation deductions and GST input tax credits.
FBT: Car parking threshold
The car parking threshold for the FBT year commencing 1 April 2018 is $8.83.
This replaces the amount of $8.66 that applied in the previous year commencing 1 April 2017.