The tax accountants' network said it believes the tax office will target these groups on the basis of their claims for overnight travel expenses; work related computer use, phones and other electronic devices; and motor vehicle use while transporting bulky tools and equipment required to do their job.
Mr Brass, regional director of H&R Block, said that given the ATO’s very strict record-keeping requirements, backed up by highly sophisticated tracking technology, he expects that there will be a record number of tax audits conducted in 2014, with a strong emphasis on evidence, especially receipts, which back up claims.
“These people are heavy users of mobile phones and tablets, while travelling overnight to meetings interstate or on a regular basis. Meanwhile tradesmen will also need to be especially careful in claiming their motor vehicle use for car travel claims because they are carrying heavy tools to jobs.”
“The key for the professionals and tradespeople is to ensure that, in making work-related claims, they have actually spent the money, have correct records to prove it and demonstrate that the expenses incurred related to their jobs. If they cannot tick all of these boxes, they may face heavy penalties,” he added.
H&R Block has released a checklist of work-related expenses that may be claimed and what records are required:
Union or professional dues: Receipts for payments of these expenses
Self-education expenses incurred to improve your job skills: Receipts for payments of these expenses
Uniforms, protective clothing and sunscreen: Receipts for payments of these expenses
Tools and equipment you purchased and used for work: Receipts for payments of these expenses
Motor vehicle use for work: Bulky tools must weigh more than 20 kilograms and there must be no secure facility provided at work to store the items. Motor vehicle log books must be kept for 90 days to maximise claims for motor vehicle expenses
Use of mobile phone for work: Keep the phone receipts and invoices, also keep a log for 30 days to determine the business use
Use of internet for work: Keep the internet receipts and invoices, also keep a log for 30 days to determine the business use
Use of a home office for work: Keep a log of the number of hours and you can claim the set rate per hour allowed by the ATO
Tax preparation fees: Receipts for payments of these expenses and travel costs
Investment expenses: Receipts for payments of these expenses
Contributions to charities: Receipts for payments of these expenses and a log of donations