It can often be difficult to know where exactly the tax office are going to be focusing their audits. As it is the start of a new financial year, I thought I would provide some insight into where the ATO will be pointing their guns in 2018/19.

Do not believe that the ATO’s audits are random

First things first, it is important that you are aware that the tax office conduct their audits in a manner that is anything BUT random.

Like any other organisation with a huge computer system, they know exactly where the money is and exactly where to audit.

They are really going for it. I believe that this year they will find BILLIONS.

Watch out for work related deductions

This year, the tax office are focused on work related deductions for individual tax returns.

Why? They believe they will be able to find billions of dollars through work related deductions. I, too, believe they will be able to find a huge amount of coin in this space.

A few months ago, I was talking to a high level tax officer and he mentioned that he was DETERMINED to chase work related deductions.

Individuals, beware.

You must have your receipts

So, how can you ensure that you will be found clean after an ATO audit?

Make sure that when you are lodging your individual tax return or getting in contact with your tax accountant, you have all of your receipts.

If you have a log book for a car, ensure that you have it filled in 100% and everything is fully up to date.

Don’t get caught out.

One more thing…

The tax office also puts tax agents out of business.

If you are with a dodgy agent who is getting two grand refunds for every client that walks through the door, that tax agent will be put out of business fairly quickly.

The ATO can, and will, find these agents very easily.