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12 Sep 08 On perceived ATO leniency on self-preparers

MEMBER 1 writes:

“I wonder how active the ATO is with self-preparers?
Our clients are forever receiving threatening letters from the ATO about work related and other claims and I would be interested to know many such letters go out to taxpayers who lodge using etax?

I continually have problems with clients who want to claim deductions for things that are not legitimate. Obviously I must be wrong because the blokes at work or down the pub claim them, and due to the self assessment system get the deductions OK.
Current problem areas being encountered are claiming the cost of overtime meals when no allowances are paid and claims for mobile and home phones by casual cleaners. The figures I am being told about should be raising alarms with the ATO, or at least would if agents made the claims!
When will the ATO get serious with taxpayers who do not use tax agents? I feel we agents are being penalised for trying to do the right thing and we aren't receiving much support from the ATO.”

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