A MAJOR tax crackdown has begun thanks to a record number of Aussies with side hustles, Airbnb, Uber and sharing economy incomes and thousands written off as landlords.
The ATO has already kicked off it 2022-23 financial year operation, with information already flooding in – thanks to its new data scraping capabilities designed to make sure taxpayers “don’t leave out income or inflate deductions”.
The idea, says ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh, is that come future years all that information will be auto-filled from bank accounts, property managers, landlord insurance providers, financial institutions providing loans for residential investment properties, sharing economy providers, digital platforms and income protection policies.
“This isn’t a game of Guess Who, as our sophisticated data-matching programs provide us with all the clues we need to track down taxpayers with incorrect information in their tax return,” he said.
The Sharing Economy Reporting Regime (SERR), which will track activity on the likes of Airbnb and other providers, began on July 1 – mandating regular reports from platforms offering taxi services, ride-sourcing and short term accommodation.
From July 1, 2024, it will also be mandatory for information to be provided regularly from all other electronic distribution platforms as well, casting a wider net over the record number of taxpayers working multiple jobs or with multiple income streams.
“While the ATO has received data from a number of digital platforms in the past, this legislative change means more platforms will be required to regularly report into the future,” Mr Loh said.
“These new rules will give the ATO clear visibility of people who are earning income using these platforms.”
ATO’s Residential Investment Property Loan (RIPL) data-matching program targets landlords, using client identification data plus account, transaction and property details from 17 banks for financial year 2021-22 through to 2025-26.
One “indisputable tax deduction” for landlords, say experts, was a tax depreciation schedule on investment properties – evidence for what could be thousands of dollars back for several years.