Further to my previous blog, I had another driver give me a call and explain what happened to him and his mates – all 6 of them. They all went to the same tax agent and they all received large refunds and sure enough they all were audited and they all had to pay back the refund plus additional fines, penalties and general interest charges. The Australian Taxation Office is clever in that it can see what claims each tax agent is making for their clients and if they believe the claims are a lot higher than the industry norm, they will review the tax agent’s clients and adjust the tax returns accordingly.
As I have previously stated, each driver, depending on who they work for and how they are paid, if they receive a travel allowance or no allowance at all, each driver’s claims will be different. There is no one size fits all and it certainly does not mean that just because one tax agent gets a large refund for a driver that he is a better tax agent.
Some drivers are paid an overnight allowance of $ 75-00 per night, others are paid the award allowance of $ 35-00 per night, depending on the amount paid the refund will be affected.
If a driver uses his own phone as opposed to a company phone, this will affect the refund.
If a driver takes the truck home at night or drives their own car from home to the depot carrying all their gear, this will affect the refund.
These are just a few things that can cause a large difference in the size of the refund. Please be aware no two tax returns will be the same, just because one driver gets a large refund does not mean that the next driver will get the same or similar refund. If this is the case, I suggest you see a different tax agent as I can see it all ending in tears.