ATO reveals 9 out of 10 returns are erroneous

Written by Mark Thomas

5 November, 2019

The ATO presented at Property Buyer & Investor Expo specifically on taxation issues relating to rental properties.  They were also present all weekend taking private consultations with the public and answering specific questions.  The top eighteen questions asked of the ATO have been tabled below.

2.2 million individuals

$44b of income reported

$47b of rental deductions

Of significant concern was the high error rate in tax returns lodged with the ATO. According to Lorretta Bishop-Spalding “A random sample of tax returns with rental deductions showed that nine out of ten had errors.  The ATO is seeing errors in both self-prepared returns and returns prepared by tax agents.  These range from inadvertent errors to intentional incorrect claims.”

Her advice to attendees was to talk to the ATO as they were there to help and wanted to assist property investors.  She also provided three simple tips for taxpayers:

  • include all the income you receive
  • get your expense claims right
  • keep records to prove it all

Some rental population statistics from the ATO database

61% are negatively geared

85% of rental taxpayers use a tax agent

71% report a single rental property

75% claim to use a property manager

The ATO supplied a list of questions and links to their website to help answer common questions:

They also received a number of questions about NSW stamp duty and land tax. The ATO doesn’t provide advice on state tax. Information is available on the Service NSW website