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ATO focusing on personal electronic devices

This financial year, the ATO has announced that it will be focussing on specific types of deductible claims. In previous years, the tax office has announced specific industries or professions that will be subject to particular scrutiny.

The biggest announcement this year is that deductions for personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops will be closely examined. Last year, Australians claimed almost $19.5 billion in deductible expenses, and personal electronic devices represent the fastest growing sector in this area.

In order to make sure that you are claiming the right tax deductions for a personal electronic device, you should make sure that you have a clear understanding of what qualifies as personal and professional use.

Travel expenses are another area that will be a focus for the ATO this year, especially claims for transporting large or bulky tools.

Posted on 16 February '15 by , under Tax.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
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  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
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  • Details of your previous fund.

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