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ATO warning on claiming of expenses

THE ATO will be focusing on unusually high work-related expense claims across all industries and occupations this year, taking a wider approach than in previous years.

Assistant Commissioner Adam Kendrick said the ATO's ability to identify and investigate claims that differ from the norm is improving each year, due to enhancements in technology and the use of data.

"These enhancements mean that every return is scrutinised and it is becoming a lot easier to identify claims that are significantly higher than those claimed by people with similar occupations and employment income," Mr Kendrick said.

In addition to focusing on work-related expense claims that are higher than expected, the ATO will also be paying particular attention to claims that have already been reimbursed by employers, and for private expenses such as travel from home to work.

Get it right

IT'S important for people claiming to carefully review deductions before lodging their tax return to avoid a delay in getting a return.

Mr Kendrick said there were three key points for people to remember when claiming work-related expenses:

Firstly, you must have spent the money yourself; second, it must be related to your job, and third, you must have a record to prove it.

When claiming work-related travel, it's important to remember you cannot claim for a normal trip between home and work, unless: you use your car to carry bulky tools or equipment which you use for work and can't leave on the work premises; your home is a base for employment or you have shifting places of employment (you regularly work at more than one place each day).

The ATO website has a series of videos to help with getting deduction claims right.

For more information, visit ato.gov.au/deductions or phone 132861.