This year the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are paying particular attention to a range of industries and occupations including:
The ATO focus on occupations that have a pattern of large or rising work-related expense claims and on work-related expense claims that did not fit the pattern of a particular occupation.
The ATO are looking closely at overnight travel expense claims as well as claims for transporting bulky tools and equipment. Building and construction workers are incorrectly claiming travel expenses for driving to work. Travel between home and workplace cannot normally be claimed. The travel expense is only deductible if it can be shown that an employer requires a worker to carry bulky equipment in their vehicle as part of their job and that there is no alternative storage solution at the workplace. If the employer does provide secure storage, then the deduction cannot be claimed.
The ATO is also looking at work expenses claimed incorrectly by sales and marketing managers for mobile phone calls based on the time spent at work rather than on work-related use.
Make sure you have incurred the work-related expense in the year you are claiming it, the deduction is allowable and where required, have the appropriate records (e.g. invoices, receipts, log books and/or diary information) to substantiate your work related expense claims.