In 2017-18 there were 450,000 people claiming $900 million in self-education expenses.
Ms Foat said one of the biggest concerns here is where people claim for a course that they are not eligible for.
“So if I’m a nurse studying to be a doctor — something that’s going to get me a different role to the one I am currently in — it’s not eligible,” she said.
There were also 6 million people claiming $6.5 billion in “other” work-related expenses such as home office, and mobile phone and internet use.
Ms Foat said the biggest issue here was in relation to apportionment.
“That is, people try to claim their whole mobile phone or whole internet plan when they use it only partially for work,” she said.
“If people are wanting to make the claim, they need to have to have some sort of reasonable basis for it,” she said, adding that it was a good idea to keep a diary for a month if there were multiple users in a home.
Deductions for home office use, including claiming for “occupation” costs such as rent, rates and mortgage interest, were not allowable unless the person was actually running a business from their home.
In addition, she said there was a whole host of other things that people try to claim but that are not deductible.
“These include things like child support, gifts to family and medical costs,” she said.
ABC News Report – Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat
28 June 2019