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ATO: Don’t take your tax return for a ride

Tax time is coming and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) wants people involved in ride-sourcing to make sure they understand their tax obligations.

Assistant Commissioner Tom Wheeler said that drivers in the sharing economy should be aware that anything they earn is assessable income that needs to be included in their tax return.

“It pays to know what your tax obligations are as a driver so you can report and fulfil them correctly from the start,” he said.

“The ATO collects more than 650 million pieces of data each year and has recently started receiving information directly from ride-sourcing facilitators to better support drivers to report their tax obligations correctly. This also means that if you misreport your income, red flags will be raised in our systems and we’ll start asking questions.”

Mr Wheeler said the ATO is reminding taxpayers that have a ride-sourcing enterprise, that they must be registered for GST regardless of their turnover, and pay GST on the full fare.

“If you’re providing ride-sourcing services and do not have an Australian business number and GST registration, you should make this your first priority,” he said.

“By reporting your ride-sourcing income and GST you can also claim tax deductions and GST credits in respect of your business expenses, such as your car, fuel, servicing and your smartphone and data usage.”

“Remember, if you purchase something that’s used for both business and private use. You can only claim the part that relates to your business use.”

Mr Wheeler said taxpayers that provide ride-sourcing services are generally considered to be sole traders, unless they have made other formal arrangements for their business structure.

“The good news is that the myDeductions tool in the ATO app is now available for use by sole traders, and will let you store your business income and expenses in the app and upload them to your tax return or registered tax agent later. You can also use the tool to say what portion of the deduction is for business purposes as well as an easy way to track your trips.”


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