ATO data matching

Received an email re: data matching and that Airbnb will be handing our information over to the ATO for tax purposes. I’ve long prepared for this and I am happy to declare the income but the documentation regarding the deductions is an absolute pain. I am keeping the receipts for everything from grocery supplies, repairs and electricity to cleaning and transport. Seems like letting out on a perm basis is the more cost effective and efficient solution?

Are there any experienced Australian hosts? How has your experience been regarding claiming Airbnb deductions and the associated documentation requirements? My experience tells me Airbnb only audits the big fish, but I don’t really know the ATO that well, as most of my prior tax experience was outside of Australia.

As I am only the manager I don’t handle the tax side of it but I send the owners a statement every month showing all the deductions.

I have worked for myself since I was 14 and as much as it pains me to say it I am now in my middle 50’s. I agree with you that the ATO go after the bigger fish, the ones with luxury cars, boats etc. I always think how much would it cost them to investigate/audit me and would it be worth it for them for the relatively small bit they might claw back? The accountants etc that conduct audits don’t come cheap.

Also the other way they chose to audit someone is if their paperwork doesn’t line up with the industry norm. E.g. The average host with one place earns x amount a year but here is a host who is saying he only earns Y. However even that is problematic because maybe they only rent it out for a few weeks a year.

I met a guy at an Airbnb night who had over 50 apartments in the city that he rented out. He would pretend he was renting them for himself but actually renting them out on the STR market. Surely that’s the type of person they would be looking at rather than us small fry?

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@Poppy I agree with your views. It doesn’t seem very economical to go after small fry like us, although i am aware some tax authorities have specialized small taxpayer audit divisions. Are there any software or phone apps you use to keep track of your deductions and generate automated statements?

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I just put it in an excel spreadsheet with and then transfer it to an invoice template to send it to the owners once a month.