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Claiming pets as a tax deduction lands business in hot water

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An ATO investigation has landed two tax agents in hot water over questionable deductions they put through on behalf of their clients. 

Wollongong tax agents DW & AR McNeice and David Warren McNeice have had their tax agent registrations cancelled by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), according to an announcement released this week. 

According to the statement, Mr McNeice was a partner and the supervising tax agent for the partnership DW & AR McNeice. He has been prohibited from reapplying for registration for five years.

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The claims in question

Among some of the claims made by Mr McNeice’s clients include claiming family pets as guard dogs, claiming food purchases as staff and client amenities, and claiming personal training and school fees as training and conference expenses.

The TPB also found personal training sessions claimed by a sales agent and depreciation on a household fridge claimed by a plumber on the back of advice from Mr McNeice.

Adverse comments were made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) against Mr McNeice in several appeals that DW & AR McNeice had lodged on behalf of its clients between 2010 and 2014.

One of such cases involved Mr McNeice acting on behalf of an IBM salesman who tried to claim $5,388 for paying his seven-year-old son for secretarial services by answering the phone.

That particular case also saw the taxpayer try to claim a $383 deduction for a pair of R.M. Williams rubber-soled shoes to “protect against continual shocks from static electricity” when working with computers.

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Claiming pets as a tax deduction lands business in hot water
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