ATO has truckies, sales reps and electricians in its sights

CANBERRA, June 12 AAP – If you are a truckie, sales and marketing manager or electrician, watch out – the tax office has you in its sights.

Australian Tax Office official Jennie Granger says there is concern tough economic times will encourage more people to fudge their tax returns this year.

“Deductions for work-related expenses are one of the largest categories of claims made in tax returns,” she said on Friday.

“We are concerned that the difficult times may tempt more people to inflate their claims.”

As of May 2009, the ATO had carried out more than 5,400 audits and reviews this financial year, raising $9.7 million.

Ms Granger said the ATO focuses on occupations with patterns of large or rising claims.

Based on ATO profiling, this year it will focus on people employed as truck drivers, sales and marketing managers, sales representatives and electricians.

Ms Granger said the most common incorrect claims made by people in these occupations include insufficient documentation to support car and travel expenses, claiming the Living Away from Home Allowance without proper documentation and mobile phone and internet expenses.

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