2021 Areas of ATO Scrutiny


Cryptocurrency has become normalised to the point that there are Bitcoin ATMs in most Australian capital cities. The ATO estimates there are over 600,000 taxpayers that have invested in crypto-assets in recent years and it’s an area of keen interest to them.

It is also important to recognise that a taxing event can be triggered when one item of cryptocurrency is exchanged for another item (that is, even if no cash proceeds are received on disposal) in addition with the use a crypto currency to pay for everyday items, each singular transaction has taxation implications!

The tax laws can be complex in this area and it’s important to ensure that you get the right advice.

It’s important to keep records of your cryptocurrency exchanges. The ATO regularly runs data matching projects, and they have access to the data from many crypto platforms and banks.

Working From Home

With the increased number of people working from home the ATO understandably has set their sights on those taxpayers who are claiming a higher usage of home related costs.

Recently a case in the AAT saw Facebook browsing leading to one taxpayer having their deductions disallowed (see here)

The ATO has highlighted four ineligible expenses that are being claimed:

  • Personal expenses such as coffee, tea and toilet paper
  • Expenses related to a child’s education, such as online learning courses or laptops
  • Claiming large expenses up-front (instead of claiming depreciation for assets), and
  • Occupancy expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, property insurance, and land taxes and rates, that cannot generally be claimed by employees working from home