Tax time is near, but the Australian Taxation Office is asking lodgers to wait until the end of July before lodging tax returns. With all the potential changes to the average work environment due to COVID-19, the ATO is urging individuals to take extra care when preparing their tax return and to wait until their income details have been finalized to minimise their risk of making a mistake.

What are the changes?

The lockdown caused by COVID-19 left many individuals required to work from home or make significant changes to their work-related travel. These changes to the workday have altered what individuals are able to claim as work-related expenses.

For example; many individuals have found themselves working from home for the first time and are now eligible to claim home related deductions. Similarly, if your work environment has otherwise changed and you are no longer required to wear a uniform, you can no longer claim the related laundry expenses.

If your work-related travel has been impacted, individuals will need to take more care in evaluating what can be claimed back as travel expenses as they are likely to be differ significantly from previous years.

What are the risks?

Every year the ATO reports hundreds of thousands of tax return errors made in haste and are anticipating the number to rise even further as more people work from home. This year the ATO has advised that they will be eyeing unsubstantiated, or higher than expected work-related claims and tax deductions in anticipation for individuals abusing the system. Mistakes your tax return could result in delayed processing, a surprise bill, or even an audit.

If you are not sure what you are eligible to claim, or have any other tax related queries, contact us to claim your free consultation and find out what the Tax Champions can do for you.