The superior data-matching program used by the ATO over recent years has given them the ability to identify components of a taxpayer’s undeclared income that may have previously been hidden or at least harder to see.

They’re now honing in on a new segment of approximately 200,000 taxpayers who facilitate rental properties to ensure they’re complying with the proper standards.

The tax office has recently declared it will be using its program to target taxpayers who are receiving income from short-term rentals who may have failed to include this income and over-claimed deductions.

The motivation is to clamp down on those taxpayers who are not meeting their registration, reporting, lodgement, or payment obligations. Online rental platforms, including income received per listing as well as listing dates, enquiry and booking rates, prices charged or quoted per night, are providing all the information the ATO needs to see red flags.

Obviously, further fraudulent activity will also be spotted if people are going so far as listing properties that aren’t even genuinely available, so they can still claim deductions.

Self-lodgers are at the highest risk of being targeted. We urge our clients to come speak to us directly if you’re thinking of becoming involved in the burgeoning short-term rental market. This way, you can have peace of mind that you won’t suffer any negative consequences.

Now, more than ever before, if you’ve ever participated in a short-term rental deal, even if it’s your family home, make sure you declare it!

 

Reference: Liam, J. Accountants Daily, https://www.accountantsdaily.com.au/tax-compliance/12009-ato-sets-sights-on-200-000-taxpayers-with-short-term-rentals (Viewed on 30 August 2018)