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  • Tax Time Toolkit – Rental property owners

    Welcome to the rental property owners toolkit for 2020.This tax time will be unlike any other we have experienced, and it promises to be one of the most challenging yet. The 2019–20 financial year has seen our country, our people, our wildlife and our land affected by unprecedented events. From drought and water shortages, to severe bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic – every Australian has been affected in some way.

    We recognise the challenges faced by many in our community and are working hard to deliver the government's economic stimulus measures and assistance to all Australians. The ATO is focused on providing the best possible support to all of our clients, if you need information about how we can help, visit www.ato.gov.au/disaster.

    Whilst things will look different this year, what hasn't changed is our commitment to provide support and help so rental property owners lodge their returns accurately the first time and ensure they keep the records they need to prepare their returns now and in the future when they sell their properties. Getting your return right avoids costly follow up, and rework down the track.

    Nine in 10 individuals make errors when reporting rental income and deductions, and this toolkit has been designed to address some of the common areas where people make mistakes, including:

    • loan interest
    • record keeping
    • borrowing expenses
    • repairs and improvements.

    This year we have also added a new page about what to do if your property is damaged or destroyed, for those of you who may have experienced this unfortunate event.

    While we provide help and support, we also focus on ensuring the integrity of the system and take actions which contribute to a level playing field for all taxpayers. This means we will continue to identify incorrect returns and deal with those who choose to do the wrong thing, which may include application of penalties and prosecution.

    Whilst this year has been hard, your tax return doesn't need to be. This toolkit has been designed to help rental property owners and their agents understand their obligations and avoid costly mistakes in their returns. I encourage all rental property owners and their agents to refer to this toolkit as they complete their returns. You can access other products we have available to assist, such as videos and our rental property guide at www.ato.gov.au/property.

    Adam O'Grady, Assistant Commissioner, Individuals and Intermediaries, Australian Taxation Office.

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      Last modified: 30 Jun 2020QC 59553