ATO sights set firmly on Airbnb
The Australian Taxation Office is targeting Airbnb users and the 1.8 million people – or about eight per cent of the population – who own an investment property in 2016.
Mark Chapman, director of tax communications for H&R Block commented “whether it is a property rented out on Airbnb or a city pad rented out long term, the ATO has signalled a big push to check that people are disclosing their rental income or falsely claiming tax deductions."
“The ATO has access to numerous sources of third-party data and the Airbnb site itself, which lists the properties and their addresses/owners, making it a relatively easy exercise for them to track who is paying tax on the rental,” he added.
According to Mr Chapman, although the majority of users are not running a business via their Airbnb activities, the sale of a property used in generating income will be met with capital gains tax.
Mr Chapman noted that in order for Airbnb users to minimise the chances of falling foul of the ATO's auditors, it is essential to keep proper records of all income earned and all allowable deductions to be claimed.