Tuesday, 14 June 2016 11:15

ATO launches new myDeductions online tool for taxpayers

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ATO launches new myDeductions online tool for taxpayers Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net/images

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) wants taxpayers to use its newly launched myDeductions online tool for logging receipts when doing their tax returns.

The ATO is now encouraging taxpayers to do away with submitting information manually, and says the new myDeductions tool has been designed to make it easier for taxpayers to record their work-related expenses and to store and track all work-related expenses throughout the year on their smartphone or device.

With the new online facility, individuals can upload their completed deductions from myDeductions directly to the ATO and the tax return will be pre-filled. Information can also be shared with tax agents and accountants via email.

Assistant commissioner Graham Whyte said the tool would “reduce the headache” for taxpayers trying to remember what expenses they can claim at tax time.

“Tax time can be stressful enough without the added trouble of sorting and filing through a year’s worth of receipts. myDeductions is an easy and convenient way for Australians to track their expenses on the go, as and when they need.

“Typically, more than eight million Australians claim over $20 billion in work-related expenses on their tax return. That's a lot of receipts to keep track of throughout the financial year.”

Whyte says that by using myDeductions, users will never miss claiming a deduction because of a lost or faded receipt again – “everything can be stored electronically. Gone are the days of keeping all of your receipts in a shoebox and sorting through them at tax time”.

He said many individuals might be missing out on deductions due to lost or damaged receipts, or in some cases just not knowing what they’re entitled to claim.

“We want to help inform and educate taxpayers on what work-related expenses they are entitled to claim.

“Anyone claiming work-related expenses just needs to remember the 'Three Golden Rules'. Firstly, you must’ve spent the money yourself and you can’t have received a reimbursement.

“Secondly, the expense must be related to your work. Finally, you must have a record to prove it.”

For more information about what work-related expenses can or can’t be claimed, click here.

And, the ATO has developed a quiz for taxpayers to test their knowledge about when they can and can't claim, so to test yourself click here.

The myDeductions tool can be downloaded for Apple, Android or Windows devices.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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