The Australian Tax Office fact sheet specifically for workers on Curtis Island.
The Australian Tax Office fact sheet specifically for workers on Curtis Island. ATO

Last chance for Bechtel employees to fix tax

TAX agents who have Bechtel employees have been contacted by the Australian Taxation Office again this morning --- issued with yet another warning for employees to amend incorrect returns.

The ATO has repeatedly explained the rules around claiming expenses after running a data analysis that showed inconsistencies between employees' claims.

Employees were initially given a deadline of October 31 to amend their taxes.

But this morning they told agents they were "concerned" some employees hadn't done so. Now it seems the ATO is giving them one more chance before taking "audit action".

>>Editorial from the ATO Assistant Commissioner Adam Kendrick 

Sunshine Coast tax agent Bevan Pierce says that likely means employees will be issued with a letter stating the adjustment the ATO plans to make, or, the adjusted amendment which will come with fines.

>>Thousands of Curtis Island workers sweat on giant tax audit

>>Accountant says tax sheet for Bechtel workers has errors

>>Bechtel workers: our claims tax claims are legitimate

Mr Pierce also said commentary on social media stating the ATO didn't have enough staff to audit up to 10,000 employees, and therefore many would escape an audit, was completely wrong.

"The ATO can audit 5000 tax returns overnight using a computer. They don't need a human being," Mr Pierce said.

Last month ATO tax agents, including Assistant Commissioner Adam Kendrick, visited Gladstone and spoke with about 20 agents.

They've conducted desk audits and apart from issuing the initial fact sheet, have also provided detailed examples of claims.

Since the ATO first issued the fact sheet, Mr Pierce's office has fielded about 40 phone calls from employees asking for advice.

He said some remained convinced they didn't need to amend their returns and that carrying bulky tools to and from work was one of the common claims.

"If you can carry them in a bag on the ferry then that probably doesn't fit the definition of bulky."

Read the tax office examples for yourself.



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