Most Australians lodge their annual tax return to the ATO each year without a second thought. Having a ‘self-assessment’ taxation system in Australia means that the ATO accepts the claims that a taxpayer makes in their tax return. Usually the ATO then issue an assessment notice on the basis of those claims without adjustment. It’s important to remember however that the ATO have the right to further investigate whether the claims on your return are accurate through an audit.

Tax Hitlist 2011 Occupations

The ATO will generally conduct an audit into an individual’s tax affairs when they have reason to believe there may be inaccuracies. The ATO cross references the information declared on tax returns with a number of sources including banks and Centrelink. In addition, each June the ATO announces a ‘hit list’ of particular occupations that it will be putting under the microscope in the coming end of financial year tax returns.

This year, the ATO has announced that the following occupations are on their ‘hitlist’ for the 10/11 financial year:

  • Earthmoving plant operators
  • Flight attendants
  • Carpenters and joiners (including apprentices and trainees)
  • Real estate employees
  • The main area of interest for the ATO is generally deductions for work-related expenses. These include expenses for motor vehicles, education and travel.

    General Guidelines for Claiming Work-Related Expenses

  • to claim an expense, you must have spent the money and not been reimbursed by your employer
  • where your claims add up to more than $300 you must keep records as evidence
  • you generally cannot claim for travel between your home and workplace
  • self-education expenses cannot be claimed where the course does not have sufficient connection to your current employment
  • the expense must have been incurred in the financial year you are claiming it
  • More Information About Claiming Work Related Expenses

    The ATO offers occupation-specific guides about correctly claiming work-related expenses. For copies of these free guides contact the ATO on 13 28 61 or download them from

    This article is brought to your by the Sydney Financial Planners at Financial Spectrum. For more information or to book your free first financial planning meeting to see how we can help you make the most of your money, contact us today on 1300 886 018.


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    One Response to “The Taxman Hitlist 2011”

    1. Michael June 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

      Thanks for this article guys. I’m a plant operator so it’s nice to know in advance to be extra careful when I’m putting in my tax return.