02 Sep Tax time updates
ATO has refunded $10 billion so far
The ATO says that $10 billion has been refunded to Australian taxpayers so far this tax time, an increase of over $2 billion from the same time last year, with most returns processed in under two weeks. The ATO aims
to process returns as soon as possible, and has announced that over four million refunds have already been sent out, compared to over three million refunds issued this time last year.
TIP: If you haven’t lodged your tax return yet, or you’re waiting on information about a refund or tax debt, we can help – contact us to find out more.
ATO watching for undisclosed foreign income
The ATO has reminded Australians who receive any foreign income from investments, family members or working overseas to make sure they have reported it this tax time.
New international data-sharing agreements allow the ATO to track money across borders and identify people who aren’t meeting their obligations. Under the new Common Reporting Standard (CRS), the ATO has shared data on financial account information with over 65 tax jurisdictions across the globe. This includes information on account holders, balances, interest and dividend payments, proceeds from the sale of assets, and other income.
Tip: If you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes, you are taxed on your worldwide income, so you must declare all of your foreign income no matter how small the amount.
Unusual claims disallowed
The ATO has published information about some of the most unusual claims it has disallowed. Around 700,000 Australians have claimed almost $2 billion of “other” expenses, including non-allowable items such as child care and even Lego sets.
Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat says a systematic review of claims found and disallowed some very unusual expenses. “A couple of taxpayers claimed dental expenses, believing a nice smile was essential to finding a job, and was therefore deductible. It isn’t!”
Tip: The “other” deductions section of your tax return is for expenses incurred in earning income that don’t appear elsewhere on the return – such as income protection and sickness insurance premiums.