Last year, 6.7 million taxpayers claimed a record $7.9 billion in deductions for ‘other work-related expenses’, which includes home office expenses.
Reportedly, due to a high number of mistakes, errors and questionable claims for home office expenses, the ATO has recently advised that it will be increasing attention, scrutiny and education on these claims this tax time.
In particular, the ATO has flagged their concerns relating to taxpayers who are claiming:
• expenses they never paid for;
• expenses that their employer has reimbursed them for;
• private expenses; and
• expenses with no supporting records
The ATO has indicated that one of the biggest issues they face is people claiming the entire amount of expenses (e.g., their internet or mobile phone), rather than just the portion relating to work.
Advancement in technology has also allowed the ATO to deploy sophisticated systems and analytics to spot claims that do not ‘add up’ and claims that are out of the ordinary compared to others in similar occupations, earning similar income.
If unsure, you should always consult with a Tax Agent.