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  • Sharing economy accommodation

    2016-17 to 2019-20 financial years data matching program protocol

    At a glance

    The ATO has a particular focus on all aspects of the sharing economy. We believe that some people using sharing economy platforms are failing to report their income, either on purpose or because they assume their level of activity constitutes a hobby and doesn’t require reporting. Our focus is to ensure that people renting a room, their home while they’re away or an investment property through web or app based platforms in the sharing economy understand their obligations.

    In 2016 there were approximately 2 million individual taxpayers who reported rental income of $42 billion and/or claimed rental expenses totalling $45 billion.

    There is an increase in people renting homes, apartments, units or rooms via platform sharing sites to generate income. The increased use of these sites means there is an increased risk of people not understanding their tax obligations when it comes to renting out part or all of their property.

    The ATO has a particular focus on how we can improve our information to assist individuals to understand the rules around short term rental income and will expand our use of third party data to identify omitted rental income and over claimed deductions.

    We also seek to identify taxpayers who use sharing economy rental platforms as a way to disguise their property as being genuinely available for rent by listing the property but not responding to enquiries.

    The ATO will match the data provided by the rental platforms against ATO records to identify individuals who rent property on a short term basis but may not be meeting their registration, reporting, lodgment and/or payment obligations.

    This protocol has been prepared to meet requirements of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s Guidelines on Data Matching in Australian Government Administration (2014) (the Guidelines).

      Last modified: 10 Aug 2018QC 56447