Tax Office announces crackdown on rental property investors

Tax Commissioner, Chris Jordan has announced his plans to crack down on the rental property market - primarily whether some tax write-offs are genuine. 

Commissioner Jordan told The Australian newspaper last week that the size of the rental market means it must be watched for any potential rorts. He said he is concerned by ATO statistics showing that deductions claimed exceed rental income across the country for individually owned properties: “In the rental income space, there’s $40.1 billion of income and $43.6 billion of expenses,” he said.

According to the article, the ATO is interested to see figures in the latest census suggesting 11 per cent of properties in Australia — or 1.1 million dwellings — are reported as unoccupied and will begin to use new data-matching of utility records, such as those from electricity and gas meters, against properties that are claimed to be unoccupied.

There were also reports that tax auditors will next year start approaching real estate agents to request all of their information on landlords, including names, addresses and rental income. The ATO will then data-match the information on the individual’s tax return.