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Continued ATO focus on holiday home rentals

The ATO has recently advised that they are “setting their sights on the large number of mistakes, errors and false claims made by rental property owners who use their own property for personal holidays”.

While it confirms that the private use of holiday homes by friends and family is entirely legitimate, the ATO states that such use reduces a taxpayer’s ability to earn income from the property, and therefore impacts on (i.e., reduces) the amount of claimable deductions.

As a result, the ATO is reminding you, the holiday home owner that:

  • You can only claim deductions for a holiday home with respect to periods it is genuinely available for rent.
  • You cannot place unreasonable conditions on prospective tenants/renters, set rental rates above market value, or fail to advertise a holiday home in a manner that targets people who would be interested in it and still claim that the property was genuinely available for rent.
  • Where a property is rented to your friends or relatives at ‘mates rates’, you can only claim deductions for expenses up to the amount of the income received.
  • Property owners whose claims are disproportionate to the income received can expect greater scrutiny from the ATO.

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