There’s a rumour swirling from the Australian Taxation Office that its employees like to go to weekend footy – but not to watch the game .The rumour is that the ATO goes to the footy at the weekend and checks the number plates of all the utes because it is a giveaway that they are being used for private use

Unlike regular cars  utes, with a 1 tonne capacity or more, are exempt from fringe benefit tax for minor private use, including travelling to and from work and irregular use such as dumping domestic rubbish at the tip.

But if a ute is found to be used privately for more than just minor use then  fringe benefit tax does apply.

An ATO spokesman said the office was cracking down on “unusually high work-related expense claims, including work travel across all industries and occupations”, and was using a “much wider approach than in previous years”.