The Australian Taxation Office has released its online guide for tax compliance and is once again taking the magnifying glass to our financial affairs, to ensure we’re all paying what we should.

Here’s how to avoid getting caught out at tax time:


Check your work-related expenses

New systems can identify claims that seem too high, relative to people with similar occupations and incomes, so make sure you’re reporting your expenses accurately.

You need to pay particular attention to travel costs and the use of computers, phones and other electronic devices for work purposes.


Report rental property deductions correctly

The ATO is also looking out for excessive deductions being claimed on holiday homes.

Remember that you can claim your deduction only for the periods when your property is actually rented out.

If your rental property is jointly owned with your spouse, you can claim only half the expenses and you’ll have to declare half the income.


Get your GST up to date

If you’re still registered for GST but are no longer carrying on a business, you’ll need to have it cancelled.

If you don’t cancel within 21 days of closing your business, the ATO does it for you but you may have to pay a penalty.

And if you do have a GST-eligible business, it’s worth checking that you’re complying with your tax obligations and receiving the correct refunds.


Make your SMSF tax-compliant

With more monitoring of self-managed super funds, check all details are accurate in your annual return.

Don’t forget to lodge your return before the deadline which is generally February 28 after the financial year.

The ATO is cracking down on the illegal early release of super and incorrect calculation of exempt pension income.


Hold on to your assets

The ATO will be keeping an eye on baby boomers who are passing on their assets to their children to avoid paying capital gains tax. They are especially looking out for assets recorded at an artificially inflated price, which may be sold off years later without paying CGT.


Avoid attention-drawing behaviour

The ATO has published a list of tax issues that are likely to draw their attention so you can get your tax reporting right.

Sharon Greber and Kim Stewart and Stewart Symonds and Partners Financial Consultants Pty Ltd are Authorised Representatives of Godfrey Pembroke Ltd an Australian Financial Services Licensee, Registered Office at 105 - 153 Miller Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 Stewart Symonds & Partners Financial Consultants are not a registered tax agent and you should not rely on this information without consulting with a Registered Tax Agent. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information.


© The West Australian

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