Opinion: Tax man out to get soft targets

AS WE hit the beginning of the new financial year we face the usual plethora of warnings about how the tax office is going to hang, draw and quarter those in focus.

Occupations in their sights this time around are apparently building and construction labourers, construction supervisors and project managers and sales and marketing managers.

Surprise, surprise, they're looking at "workhorse" vehicles (for example one-tonne utes), car expenses claimed under the log-book method, self-education expenses and sales tools such as client gifts, advertising and referral expenses.

And yet more surprises… rental property owners are to be under scrutiny.

Claims for attendance at seminars (if you don't own a property already), interest claims and repairs particularly to a former home prior to rental are to be targeted.

Yet again!

Salary earners, as usual are going to be hounded.

They are soft targets and can be challenged without the so-called auditors leaving their ergonomic chairs and computer screens.

The real rorters in this country are out there operating in the open for all to see - but will only be confronted if ATO auditors get out and eyeball them in the real world.

More laughable still is the ATO alert TA 2013/3.

It's an alert to professionals about income splitting primarily through a partnership of discretionary trusts.

What they are really after is splitting income with husbands, wives and partners in defiance of the Personal Services Income provisions in the tax act.

Bob Lamont is director of Corporate Accountants situated at the Night Owl centre. He can be contacted on boblamont1947@gmail.com.