"Monty Python" and the ATO

Welcome to Monty Python's, where one arm of government mandates COVID lock downs and the other (the ATO) mandates that we need to keep a "diary" to prove that we worked from home ...

"Monty Python" and the ATO
Monty Python's Flying Circus - "The Fish Slapping Dance" - An aburdist classic

When COVID-19 hit Australia in early 2020, the government established "The National Cabinet", to co-ordinate state and federation government response to COVID. In my state of Victoria we got hit with onging and very long "Lockdowns".  It was mandated that only people with special exemption should attend work premises (the building industry, got special treatment).

For most of the professional workforce this meant working from home for nearly three years. Something that the Australian Tax Office (ATO) seems to have failed to acknowledge, as they insisted that people where required to maintain a diary as evidence of proof "working from home".

At my current employer, they introduced a system where you needed to explicity book a desk in the office if you needed to be physically at work. My bookings "receipts" for Fiancial Year 2022 consisted of 12 days in the office. So out of potential 250 working days some 12 of these where in the office.

In submitted my claim to the ATO the outcome was a response that my home expense claim was rejected as I failed to provide sufficient evidence...

So we have:

  • a task force that seems to have failied to talk with the ATO
  • the ATO insisting that on rather useless paper evidence of working from home, especially as everyong now uses "electronic diareies"
  • Given evidence of "days working from office" and then subtracting this from "working days" (ie 250 - 12 = 238) was incorrect...

As with much of government "the fish slapping" continues unabated... the ATO has the fish and the tax paying public gets to be slapped.

Links & References:

National Cabinet - was established to "ensure a ‘coordinated response across the country to the many issues that relate to the management of the coronavirus’. It comprises the Prime Minister and the leaders of the states/territories.."

The Guardian - "Melbourne freedom day: world’s most locked down city takes first cautious steps to reopening"

Monty Python's Flying Circus - brought absurdist humor into the mainstream and the "Fish Slapping Dance" was a classic of its kind