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Work-related expenses hidden target in Federal Budget

Publication date: 08 May 18 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

SYDNEY, 8 May 2018 

A strong theme in the narrative accompanying the 37 Treasury revenue measures in the 2018-19 Federal Budget is the additional funding being allocated to the ATO and related organisations.

“One thing that stands out from this year’s Federal Budget is the Government’s determination to properly resource the ATO and related organisations,” said The Tax Institute’s Senior Tax Counsel Professor Robert Deutsch.

This is evident from a number of measures including:

  • Personal income tax measures to ensure individuals meet their tax obligations ($130.8 million);
  • Delivering on debt collections and improvement in timeliness of debt collections ($133.7 million);
  • Enhancing ATO enforcement against the Black Economy ($318.5 million);
  • R&D measure providing additional funding to the ATO and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (amount not specified);
  • Assorted other measures relating to aspects of superannuation and payroll and superannuation fund reporting.

Overall, the measure seeking to ensure individuals meet their tax obligations alone is estimated to raise some $1.1 billion over the forward estimates. This could be read principally as a reference to ensuring that taxpayers do not over-claim work-related expenses. That is not an insignificant amount, so agents need to be prepared to check their clients’ tax returns carefully to ensure compliance with the law.

“The ATO is going to be well-resourced to enable it to pursue its enforcement strategies. This is almost certain to lead to better targeted audit and prosecution work. While not specifically highlighted, work-related expenses are clearly in their sights,” said Professor Deutsch.



For more information, please contact: Professor Robert Deutsch on 0438 043 833 or Stephanie Conway, Media Relations Contact on: 02 8223 0011.

The Tax Institute is the leading forum for the tax community in Australia. Our reach includes membership of 12,000 tax professionals from commerce and industry, academia, government and public practice and 40,000 Australian business leaders, government employees and students. We are committed to representing our members, shaping the future of the tax profession and continuous improvement of the tax system for the benefit of all, through the advancement of knowledge, member support and advocacy.