As tax time 2017 fast approaches, the ATO has warned that they will be paying very close attention to those people claiming higher than expected work-related expenses in their individual tax returns. Talk isn’t cheap at the ATO. If they say they’ll do it, they tend to keep their promise. The ATO is now armed with a greater ability to check on work-related expense claims. They're using some very sophisticated technology and data analysis. Graham White, ATO Assistant Commissioner, even said it himself:

“Every tax return is scrutinised using increasingly sophisticated tools and data analytics developed by our ‘Data Doctors’ at the ATO. This means we can identify and review income tax returns that may omit information or contain unreasonable deductions”

We strongly recommend you run a very tight ship when preparing for your 2017 tax return. So what’s the best way to be well-prepared this tax time and avoid an ATO audit trap? Download the myDeductions app. Learn how this handy ATO app can help you get better prepared for tax time. It’s simple, fast and very effective.

What is the ATO myDeductions app?

Some taxpayers might be aware that Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has had a free mobile app available for some time, but did you know it has a handy feature called myDeductions? When you make a tax-deductible purchase, you can just enter the details, snap a photo of the receipt and save it. The app is a convenient and organised way of recording and storing your work-related expenses receipts. The part we love most is that it gives you the ability to email your information straight to us at Platinum Accounting & Taxation.

Who can use the ATO myDeductions App?

myDeductions is designed for employees who are claiming work-related expenses such as:

  • Car expenses using point-to-point, odometer method or electronic log book.
  • Work-related travel expenses such as public transport, air travel and taxi fares, tolls, parking fees, meals, accommodation and incidental expenses incurred while travelling for work.
  • Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses, for example protective clothing, uniforms, occupation-specific clothing, and laundering or dry-cleaning such clothing.
  • Self-education expenses such as costs of attending seminars, conferences or education workshops.
  • Other work-related expenses such as home office expenses (mobile phone, internet).
  • Gifts and donations, and
  • Costs associated with managing your tax affairs.

You can use the app to catergorise your receipts and expenses under the various deduction labels. The myDeductions app is even designed to help small business owners get themselves tax-time ready -  including sole traders.

For example, the new business performance check tool gives small business owners a quick snapshot of their financial health and lets them compare their performance to others in their industry. It works very similarly to a lot of business accounting apps that keep track of your work-related expenses – except myDeductions is completely free.

Can it take care of my log book?

Yes, it sure can! It even has GPS tracking for logging work-related car trips so you can maintain an accurate logbook on the go. What a time saver!

Is the myDeductions App is easy to use?

It's very easy to use. We’ve tried and tested it. And it gets the Platinum tick of approval. Step 1: Open the app and take a quick snapshot of your receipt. Taking a photo which is a clear and accurate copy of the original receipt means that you no longer need to keep your paper receipt. Step 2: Fill in the details amount of the expense, along with the date the expense is incurred and provide a short description Step 3: We’ll do the rest for you at tax time.

How does it help me at tax time?

At the end of the financial year, you can simply email us the file from your phone which has details of the expenses you have incurred throughout the year. We don’t think tax-time could possibly get any easier than that! For more information, visit the ATO website.

But a word of warning…

Be sure to back-up your data regularly. The data is stored on your phone, which means if you lose or break your phone, you lose your data with it. And I can assure you that the ATO does not accept that as an excuse for a lack of receipts. The good news is that the ATO have considered this, and there is a backup function in the App or you can simply use the phone’s normal backup feature. Please use it!

Ok I’m sold, how do I get this app in my life?

You can download the ATO myDeductions App for free from your devices App store. Are you unsure of which expenses you can and cannot claim in your individual tax return? Follow us on Facebook where we share a heap of helpful tax tips and relevant information.