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ATO warns taxpayers about dubious expense claims

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ATO warns taxpayers about dubious expense claims

With more Australians now working from home, taxpayers have been warned not to “copy and paste” expense claims from previous years that would no longer apply.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) said it would look closely at anyone who claims significant working-from-home expenses, while also maintaining or increasing their claims for things like car, travel or clothing expenses.

“You can’t simply copy and paste previous years’ claims without evidence,” assistant commissioner Tim Loh said.

“But we know some of these unusual claims may be legitimate. So, if you explain your claim with evidence, you have nothing to fear.”

Mr Loh said the ATO expects working-from-home claims to increase, as the number of home-based workers has jumped since the pandemic.

“But, if you are working at home, we would not expect to see claims for travelling between worksites, laundering uniforms or business trips.”

Mr Loh said the ATO’s data analytics team would be on the lookout for unusually high claims.

“Particularly where someone’s deductions are much higher than others with a similar job and income,” he added.

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