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ATO SCAM ALERT

 

SCAM watch is warning consumers to be aware of calls from scammers falsely claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

 

 

Scammers have recently been calling Australians telling them that there is a warrant out for their arrest. Scammers will ask you to call during office hours to discuss the matter further. However, the telephone number has no connection with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Australian Taxation Office or any other state or commonwealth department.

 

 

The scammers may spin a range of stories about why an arrest warrant has been issued, including that you have failed to pay taxes.

 

 

Scammers typically ask for money to be sent via electronic transfer as it’s nearly impossible to recover money sent this way. They may also ask for people’s financial and other personal details to access their money and use this information to commit other scams.

 

 

How these scams work

 

  • You receive a call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office.
  • The call may sound like it is an automated message.
  • The caller or sender will claim that you have an arrest warrant for some reason.
  • The scammer will ask you to telephone a number that appears to be Australian but is likely to be a VOIP number.
  • The scammer will tell you that in order to resolve the matter you will need to pay a fee.
  • You may also be asked to provide your bank account details or other personal information so they can confirm they have the right person.
  • If you send any money via electronic transfer, you will never see it again – it’s nearly impossible to recover money sent this way. You will also never receive the promised rebate or refund.
  • If you provide your bank account details or other personal information, the scammer may use it to commit identity theft or to steal your money.


 

Scam communications:

 

  • are unsolicited
  • are pushy and can be intimidating, threatening arrests or penalties if payment for an unknown tax debt is not made immediately
  • demand payment in full and in some instances via unconventional means such as iTunes cards, cash transfers or gift vouchers
  • ask you for your personal or financial information or to confirm information they pretend they have
  • are often poorly worded, containing spelling and grammatical mistakes
  • may promise you a tax refund in exchange for a payment or personal information
  • May contain an attachment or fake links requesting you to lodge a form – opening these attachments or links can cause you to download spyware or a virus.

 

 

 ato-scam

 

 

Protect yourself

 

  • If you receive a phone call or email out of the blue from someone claiming to be from the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions or Australian Taxation Office telling you about an arrest warrant, hang up.
  • If you have any doubts about the identity of any caller who claims to represent a government department, contact the body directly. Don’t rely on numbers, email addresses or websites provided by the caller – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.

 

 

How to report a scam

 

If a scammer or someone claiming to be from the ATO has contacted you and you are unsure of the legitimacy, let ATO know.

 

For Phone Scams you should:

 

  • hang up immediately
  • Call ATO’s dedicated scam reporting line 1800 008 540 between 8am–6pm EST, Monday to Friday.

 

 

For Email Scams you should:

 

 

For further assistance contact Expert Tax on 0449 952 855 or send us your query via our website – www.expert-tax.com.au

 

Alternatively you can also email us your query at info@expert-tax.com.au, we will endeavor to reply to your query as soon as possible.

 

Like us on Facebook for regular tax updates, tips and special offers.

 

Do you use your car for work related travel?

 

If you answered Yes to above question, then you must read this.

 

You can claim deductions for use of personal car if you use your car for work.

 

As of 2016 financial year only 2 methods can be used for claiming work related car expenses.

 

Work Related Car Deductions

 

Only two methods are available now to calculate car expense claims:

 

  • The logbook method, and
  • Cents per kilometer method – A change has been made to this method.

Cents per KM method

 

In previous years, your car’s engine capacity would determine the rate for claiming cents per km. 2016 onward the ATO has one fixed rate of 66 cents per km for all cars regardless of engine capacity. This limits the dollar value of the deduction available under this method to a maximum amount of $3,300.

 

  • Capping of 5000km per year using this method regardless of the kilometers traveled for work purpose.
  • No log book or receipts required, though you need to justify the claim and show how you reached the number of kilometers claimed.
  • ATO can ask you to explain how you calculated your claim and how the use of your car was work related.

 

Example:

 

Melissa is a Sales Consultant and is required to regularly visit clients using her own car. She took 4 weeks annual leave in the financial year. Each week she drives approximately 200 km visiting clients using her own car and isn’t reimbursed by her employer.

 

Melissa can claim a deduction of $3,300 i.e. 5000 Kms x 66 Cent per km.

 

Though Melissa traveled 9,600kms (48 weeks x 200kms) for work but her claimed is limited to 5000 kms due to the method used for claiming work related car deduction.

 

Car Logbook Method

 

  • You must keep a logbook for 12 continuous weeks per car.
  • You must own the car
  • Log book is valid for 5 years per car. New log book is required if car changes during 5 year period.
  • Record all business trips and all personal trips in your car logbook
  • Keep receipts for all expenses related to your car for 5 years, including
    o Fuel
    o Registration
    o Insurance
    o Service and repairs
    o Interest on loan – if car is purchased through loan.
    o Depreciation – maintain the tax invoice of car purchase.
    o Other running costs – such as car wash, Tyre replacement etc.

 

Your tax agent will calculate business percentage from the entries in your log book.

 

Example –

 

At the end of financial year, Melissa’s log book shows she traveled a total of 10,000 kilometers, of which 6,000 were for business.
To calculate business percentage of total car use, Melissa made the following calculation:
6,000/10,000 × 100 = 60%
Melissa’s total car running expenses, including depreciation, are $10,000 for the financial year.

 

To work out how much she could claim, Melissa did following calculation:

$10,000 × 60% = $6,000

 

Which method is best for me?
If you drive your car for more than 5000kms for work use, it is worthwhile to maintain a log book. At the tax time, your tax agent will calculate using both methods and use the method that will give you maximum deduction.

 

Point to be noted:

 

You cannot claim the cost of traveling between your home and your place of employment or business, this is classified as personal travel. However, if your home is your place of business, you can claim the cost of trips you make between your home and other places, if your travel is for business purpose.

 

When choosing a claim method, you:

 

  • can choose the one that gives you the best result if you satisfy the method’s requirements
  • can use different methods for different vehicles
  • can change methods from year to year
  • Must keep records.

 

When you can claim

 

You can claim a deduction for work-related car expenses if you use your own car in the course of performing your job as an employee, for example, to:

 

  • carry bulky tools or equipment
  • attend conferences or meetings
  • deliver items or collect supplies
  • travel between two separate places of employment (for example, when you have a second job)
  • travel from your normal workplace to an alternative workplace and back to your normal workplace or directly home
  • travel from your home to an alternative workplace and then to your normal workplace or directly home (for example, if you travel to a client’s premises)
  • Perform itinerant work.

 

For further assistance call Expert Tax on 0449 952 855 or send us your query via our website – www.expert-tax.com.au

 

You can also email us your query at info@expert-tax.com.au, we will endeavor to reply to your email as soon as possible.

 

Follow us on Facebook for regular tax updates and tips.

 

Are you a plumber, handyman, bricklayer or electrician?

 

Do you work as a tradesman?

 

If you answered Yes to one of the above, then you must read this.

 

As a Trades person you are entitled to lot of deductions that you may not be aware of.

 

You can claim deduction for following work related deductions –

 

  • Clothing – branded uniform, protective uniform such as overalls, safety shoes and safety glasses.
  • Tools and equipment – includes purchase, leasing, hiring and maintaining tools used for work.
  • Cost of laundering work related clothing.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses if work is done outside
  • Car expenses – if car used for travel to work sites. There are 2 methods for claiming work related car expenses – Log Book Method and Cents per kilometre method. Depending on the method you choose, you can claim running expenses such as fuel, rego, insurance, repairs, service, tyres and car wash.
  • Travel expenses – this includes parking, toll.
  • Training courses, licenses and certifications for upskilling.
  • Home office expenses.
  • Union Fees

 

Note –

  1. Maintain receipts to claim deductions.
  2. Don’t claim if you expenses were reimbursed.

 

Contact Expert Tax on 0449 952 855 for further assistance or please send us your query via our website – www.expert-tax.com.au

 

You can also email us your query at info@expert-tax.com.au, we will endeavour to reply to your query as soon as possible.

 

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