Agents must heed ATO warning: REIA

Real estate agents have been urged by a leading industry body to ensure they comply with tax return rules following an earlier warning issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) told its members in a recent newsletter to ensure any work-related expense deductions are in compliance with the ATO.

The REIA said agents should pay particular attention to claims for travel expenses, protective clothing, education expenses and mobile phone deductions.

In addition, agents were also warned to have correct documentation and diary evidence of computer/laptop use, hours claimed for home office use, newspaper claims and client meals and/or drinks deductions.

When claiming deductions, agents are expected to provide the ATO with records such as, paper or electronic invoices, receipts or delivery notes, credit card statements, BPAY receipt numbers and PAYG payment summaries.

“In terms of record keeping, if a claim is less than $300 you do not need to keep your receipts but you still need to be able to tell the ATO, if asked, how you worked out your claim,” REIA policy manager Jock Kreitals said.

Late last month, Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo told Real Estate Business that real estate professionals would be targeted this financial year due to the industry being considered high risk in terms of wrongfully claimed work-related expenses.

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