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THE Australian Taxation Office is setting its sights on the large number of mistakes, errors and false claims made by rental property owners who use their property for personal holidays.
ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said they were "focusing on taxpayers who claim deductions for holiday homes that are not actually available for rent or only available to friends and family”.
"While private use by family and friends of a holiday home is entirely legitimate, it does reduce your ability to earn income from the property. This in turn impacts the deductions you can claim,” Ms Anderson said.
"You can only claim deductions for your holiday home if your property is genuinely available for rent.
"You cannot claim for times when you were using it for your own personal holidays or letting friends and family stay rent-free. It's not OK to expect everyone else to pay for your holiday.
"Holiday home owners also need to remember that if their property is rented to friends and family at mates rates, they can only claim deductions for expenses up to the amount of the income received.”
The ATO is also focusing on other times when a property is not rented or genuinely available for rent.
Ms Anderson said some taxpayers claimed their property was available for rent, but when the ATO investigated, it was clear they had little intention of renting it out.
"Where something raises a red flag, it will be investigated,” Ms Anderson said.