02Asset 4

Australian taxpayers on notice… keep your receipts

In February 2018, the Australian Tax office published ‘Australians on notice to keep their receipts’.

So how do you prove your tax deductions?

We explore what you need to keep, how long to keep receipts, and how to substantiate your claims.

In their words…

The ATO is warning taxpayers they will be paying close attention to claims for ‘other’ work-related expenses this year, and is reminding people to keep appropriate records.

Extracts from ATO publication

  • This year the ATO is shining a spotlight on ‘other’ deductions
  • There are three golden rules. Firstly, you must have paid for it and not been reimbursed, secondly, it must be directly related to earning your income and not a private expense, and thirdly, you must have a record to prove it
  • Some taxpayers are making risky or outright false claims
  • Substantiation will be a key focus area for the ATO this year. “It’s important that you have a record of the expense and can demonstrate how you calculated your claims”
  • If your expenses are for both work and private use, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion. We are seeing quite a few examples of people trying to claim the whole expense, including the private portion
  • ATO has sophisticated systems and analytics to ensure wrongdoing doesn’t fly under the radar

Key messages

  • Make sure you can substantiate your claims. These days you can use technology like electronic logbooks for motor vehicle claims, or saving documents electronically to ensure you can find the receipt if you need to
  • Keep electronic receipts and save data in folders
  • Keep your receipts for five years from when you lodge your tax return
  • Keep a diary for travel expenses


ATO – Records you need to keep

ATO – Keeping your records

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