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ATO monitors personal living expenses

In an ongoing effort to address the misuse and abuse of the tax and regulatory systems, the ATO has implemented a new tool to monitor what constitutes reasonable personal living expenses.

Information is requested by the tax office to identify unreported cash income when looking at household expenditure. An individual will be required to provide this information to work out if they need to make adjustments to their business and record-keeping practices as well as help the ATO identify if they should be selected for an audit.

In the event of an audit or when making an assessment in the course of examining an individual’s tax affairs, the ATO will employ a set of guidelines presented in the form of questionnaire worksheets. These worksheets will require taxpayers to provide certain details about the living expenses of their household.

Discrepancies in tax returns that have been discovered by individuals completing a personal living expenses worksheet can be adjusted through voluntary disclosure. Taxpayers that voluntarily inform the ATO of mistakes before an audit may be eligible for reduced penalties.

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