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24 Oct 14 A heavy-handed approach

MEMBER 167 writes:

"We received a curious letter from the ATO in relation to a client’s rental legal expenses. The property is a commercial property earning gross rental of approximately $90,000p.a. 

The letter states that the ATO believes the claim for legal expenses may be incorrect and intends to amend the return to exclude the $4,900 in expenses. No reason provided; even though not uncommon for a commercial property. So a call to the ATO, and the phone officer advises that it is simply a review of the borrowing costs and legal expenses claimed.

Seems a very heavy-handed letter, with language accusing the taxpayer of including an incorrect amount, for a simple 'review' of particular expenses. I wonder how many taxpayers will shy away and not do anything because of the aggressive nature of the letter?

More evidence of the ATO’s abrupt approach, which is contradictory to Commissioner Jordan’s 'fostering willing participation' approach. Seems he has plenty of work to do to implement such a thing."