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The popular claims on the ATO’s watch this year


With its eyes on the $8.7 billion gap between the taxes individuals were expected to pay and the taxes they are actually paying, the ATO will likely be targeting a range of popular deductions this tax time.

H&R Block believes the ATO has identified two main hotspots in 2019 in order to reclaim these loses being a crackdown on work-related expenses and property deductions.

Work-related expenses

The ATO believes work-related expenses claims are the biggest cause of this tax gap and have signalled its intent to look closely at these deductions.


According to H&R Block, the ATO is targeting the following:

  • Claims for work-related clothing
  • Deductions for home office use
  • Overtime meals claims
  • Union fees and subscriptions
  • Mobile phone and internet costs
  • Motor vehicle claims where taxpayers take advantage of the 68 cent per km flat rate for up to 5,000kms
  • $300 dollar or less deductions without receipts


Over 1.8 million people – or about 8 per cent of the Australian population – own an investment property, according to the ATO. With this, the ATO has highlighted it as the second-biggest area of focus, announcing a series of audits with 90 per cent of returns reviewed.

  • The ATO will pay attention to excessive interest expense claims
  • Incorrect apportionment of rental income and expenses
  • Holiday homes that are not genuinely available for rent
  • Incorrect claims for newly purchased rental properties, particularly costs of repairs and fixing defects


While it is not the main area, H&R Block also believes that the ATO is modernising and is cracking down on cryptocurrencies and sharing economy.

Cryptocurrencies are owned by between 500,000 to 1 million Australians, with the ATO believing some investors are failing to declare profits or losses on crypto.

The sharing economy

Finally, the ATO is also closely looking at the shared economy to ensure that expenses are correctly reporting. The share economy includes Uber, house sharing, skilled services and completing the odd job/errand or delivery.  

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The popular claims on the ATO’s watch this year
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Anonymous - It is not a bias to get a refund of over-withheld taxes. For once, Australia has a better tax system in this respect than most of the rest of the world.....
Anonymous - This is all identity politics rubbish. Inasmuch as most families are dual income earners and as most women are not in high paying jobs for a variety.......
Margaret - Happy that I won't be around in 2060....
Anonymous - This "analysis" is misconceived and should get a fail in statistics. Men pay more tax because they work more. So they should get more relief. And,.......