Tax Week 2011: Which Occupations Is The ATO Targeting This Year?

Yes, June 30 is nearly here, so we’ll be running posts all week looking at how you can maximise your tax return and ensure you don’t get unnecessarily hassled by the Australian Tax Office. To kick off, which occupations will be getting special attention from the ATO in 2011?

Picture by Michael Coghlan

Each year, the ATO identifies specific occupations where it pays particular attention to claims for deductions and seeks to ensure that those people don’t try and claim deductions which they aren’t entitled to. This year, the careers which are getting specific attention are real estate workers, flight attendants, carpenters and joiners and earthmovers.

If you work in one of those areas, don’t be surprised if you receive a letter from the ATO outlining the acceptable categories for deductions. Getting the letter doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong: it’s just a reminder to make sure you only claim acceptable deductions. For each of those categories, the ATO has specific occupation guides outlining what’s acceptable (and what isn’t).

Another area of focus this year will be people who make a living from eBay. Anyone who sells more than $20,000 worth of goods on eBay will automatically have their details forwarded to the ATO — so don’t assume you can keep that income “under the counter”.


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