20 June 2013 Investors under ATO scrutiny

More than 110,000 investors are in the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO's) spotlight for having made incorrect claims, new information has revealed.

With investors having claimed $39 billion in deductions over the 2010/2011 financial year – an 18 per cent rise on the previous year – 110,000 of the 1.3 million investors claiming losses, have been said to be incorrect with their tax claims.

Speaking to Fairfax, assistant commissioner of client services and assistance at the ATO Graham Whyte indicated that this may be due to previously owner-occupied properties, with investors attempting to claim deductions on the time they lived in the home themselves.

Only the portion of the year where the property is rented, or available to rent, can be claimed.

Two thirds of investors with rental income reported a loss on investment, according to the 2010/2011 ATO statistics.

Overall, 1,811,174 investors were identified, up from 1,751,679 the previous year.

On average, the income loss for each property investor in 2010/2011 was $4,341, compared to $2,746 in 2009/2010, while just looking at those negatively geared investors, the average loss was $10,946 compared to $9,132 in 2010/2011 and 2009/2010 respectively.

A majority of negatively geared investors (72 per cent) earned less than $80,000 over 2010/2011.

Reproduced in full with permission: Smart Property Investment Investors under ATO scrutiny 12 June 2013

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