ATO launches seven deadly sins negative gearing blitz

By Leith van Onselen

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is taking aim at the army of negatively geared property investors, targeting seven commonly rorted deductions claimed by landlords. From The Australian:

 

  1. Over-claiming interest expenses…
  2. Classifying capital work as repair work…
  3. Holiday home rorts…
  4. Family ties… the most common sin here is where the owner places a “too low” rental charge…
  5. Travel… The government stepped in and scrapped travel expenses completely…
  6. Depreciation… Under new rules brought in with the 2017 Budget, the property owner can only claim depreciation on what the property owner purchased in the time they owned the property…
  7. Coming up next …the ATO says it will be issuing an update on its treatment of renting rooms before the end of the year.

According to the latest ATO Taxation Statistics, total net rental losses were $3.3 billion in 2016-17:

With those that were negatively geared claiming on average $8,771 in rental losses:

Therefore, there is a nice honeypot of potential revenue for the ATO to target, irrespective of whether Labor’s negative gearing policy gets over the line.

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