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ATO targeting holiday homes

The Tax Office has rental property owners in its sights this tax season with a large number of mistakes, errors and false claims made by some using their own property for personal holidays.

The ATO is reminding owners they cannot claim deductions for holiday homes that are not actually available for rent or only available to friends and family.

Private use is entirely legitimate although it does reduce an owner’s ability to earn income from the property.

Properties must be genuinely available for rent to claim deductions. This means you cannot use the property for your personal use or let friends and family stay rent-free and claim a deduction.

For those who rent the property to friends or family at “mates rates,” they must only claim deductions for expenses up to the amount of the income received.

In addition to rental properties, the ATO is investigating cases where taxpayers claim their property is available for rent but there is no intention of renting it out. Rental rates well above market rates and unreasonable conditions for prospective renters are just a couple of ways owners can be doing this.

The ATO will also be scrutinising incorrect rental property claims. Data matching technology allows the Tax Office to pick up attempts at over-claiming regardless of whether the mistake was deliberate or an accident.

Property owners are advised to double-check their claims before lodging their tax return. They must remember to declare all rental income and only claim deductions for periods that the property is rented or genuinely available for rent at market rates.

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Tax on super death benefits for dependants vs non-dependants

July 9, 2020

A super death benefit is the super paid after a person’s death, usually to a nominated beneficiary. These benefits are subject to different tax treatments, depending on whether the beneficiaries are dependant or non-dependant.

Superannuation death benefits will generally be received tax-free by tax dependants, who are considered to be:

Dependants will not have to pay tax on the tax-free component of their super in the event that they:

However, they will be taxed at their marginal rate if they receive a capped benefit income stream and:

Not all super death benefits are subject to tax; for non-dependants, there is a taxable portion. This component is largely made up of after-tax super contributions that the deceased member has made.

Super death benefit payments are subject to tax when:

Non-dependants must calculate how much money in the super account is a:

The amount of tax non-dependants pay will be based on their marginal tax rate, however, this amount may be reduced by tax offsets. For the taxed element of the taxable component, the effective tax rate is your marginal tax rate of 17% (whichever is lower). For the untaxed element of the taxable component, the effective tax rate is 32% or your marginal tax rate (whichever is lower).