What you can claim on tax now that you’re working from home again

It can also be applied to the previous income year from 1 March 2019 to 30 June 2020 should for some reason you haven’t lodged a tax return for the previous financial year.

The ATO has reiterated that they will be paying careful attention to deductions this year to people who are trying to claim expenses they’re not entitled to. For example, if you work from home, they will be making sure you are not deducting travel expenses or laundering costs for uniforms.

What is the shortcut method?

You can claim 80 cents per hour that you worked from home. By using this method, it covers everything from electricity to phone use and you can’t claim for any other expenses. You don’t need to keep overly detailed records, but you must be able to show the hours worked from home, such as diaries, timesheets or rosters.

Using this method might not necessarily give you the best return, but it certainly is the most straightforward.

What can you claim for when working from home?

Before you try to claim for tax deductions, the following three rules apply for standard claims.

1) Any expenses you claim for must not be reimbursed or paid for by your employer.

2) Any expenses must have been paid for by you.

3) Any deductions must be related to your work.

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Be sure to keep any receipts if claiming household items on tax. Image: iStock 

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How to claim more from home

Cleaning your office area – if you hire a cleaner, you can only claim for the workspace portion of your cleaning bill, not your entire house. If you purchase spray and wipe and clothes, specifically for cleaning your office area you can claim for those. Don’t forget to keep receipts.

Electricity – Electricity required for lighting, air conditioning, and heating appliances that heat your workspace area. Sorry, this is not designed so the government pays for your entire electricity household electricity bill.

Mobile phone, landline, and internet costs – The amount you claim must be work-related costs. You will need to figure out what portion of the internet and phone calls are related to work such as talking to work-colleagues, phone conferences, and zoom calls with clients.

Depreciation of home office equipment– laptops, computers and printers and office consumables such as paper, stationery, printing ink are all claimable. 

Home office furniture – You can claim up to $300 of the full cost or decline in value for home-office items that cost more than $300.

Get what you’re owed this tax time if you are working from home by consulting a certified taxation accountant. The end of the financial year is looming, so be sure to get your tax affairs in order and make an appointment.

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