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  • Writer's pictureUHY Haines Norton

Big Brother is Watching!

By Tina Zawila

As we enter the new financial year, and you start to think about doing your 2023 income tax return, it’s important to understand the information that the ATO already knows about you and your assessable income.

It’s also worth considering in light of the Robodebt Report handed down by the Royal Commission recently which said that “income data supplied by the ATO to the then Department of Human Services was crucial to the automated process that scrutinized payments to almost 900,000 taxpayers from 2010-13”. It’s true that technology, data collection and data matching has come a long way in a decade, but it’s still worth being mindful of what information the ATO has about you and to make sure you cross check this information to your own records.

When preparing your income tax return, you should ensure that you declare income from all sources including employment and investment. With Single Touch Payroll being used by employers, the ATO generally has access to your employment income information, so don’t forget any casual or short-term jobs you may have had. The ATO also has interest and investment income information from banks and other financial institutions, so don’t miss any interest or dividends that you may have received during the year. And those cryptocurrency transactions? They are taxable too, and it’s likely that the ATO already knows about that too.

As discussed in a previous article, the ATO also has unprecedented access to information regarding rental property investments from real estate agents and lenders, so make sure you declare income from your rental property and take care with calculating your interest deduction. This is an area that the ATO is focusing on in 2023.

All that being said, you have control over the deductions you claim, and you should ensure that you are claiming everything that you are entitled to. You should ensure that you have kept the appropriate records, including diary evidence or logbooks, as well as proof of purchase receipts.

Your accountant and tax agent is the best person to assist you with your income tax return. We are trained professionals who ask the right questions and provide you with the advice you need to maximise your deductions and therefore minimize tax. Most of us don’t cut our own hair, why would you try to do your own tax?

Call the professional team at UHY Haines Norton CQ today on 4972 1300.

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