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3 Things to Do for Your Tax While Working from Home

The impact of COVID-19 has seen a spike in Australians being sent home to work. For a lot of us, this is probably the first time we are working from home. This means that when tax time comes around, there will be a few tax deductions you can claim that you probably didn’t know about.

The impact of COVID-19 has seen a spike in Australians being sent home to work. For a lot of us, this is probably the first time we are working from home. This means that when tax time comes around, there will be a few tax deductions you can claim that you probably didn’t know about. Here’s what you should be keeping a record of, so you’re fully prepared. 

Records You Must Keep

It’s important to start keeping track of the hours you work from home, receipts and things of that nature from the moment you start working from home. If you prepare your records too late (a few days before you head to your accountant), you’re likely to be completely overwhelmed and the information you gather will be inaccurate. The following is a list of items you must have records of and be sure to keep track of regularly:

  • Hours you’re working from home - weekly basis is good
  • Receipts for any goods you’ve had to purchase to help you work from home (laptop, keyboards, mouse, USB’s, programs, home printer etc).
  • Written evidence of any small purchases made ($10 or less) totalling no more than $200 - these are for expenses you cannot get any evidence/receipts for
  • Itemised phone accounts where you can identify work-related calls - these can be diary entries

Running Expenses

You can also claim your running expenses. These expenses are the things you utilise in your home during the time you work from home. It can include:

  • Lighting
  • Heating and cooling
  • Cleaning
  • Decline in in value of equipment (furniture or furnishings that you use for work)
  • Cost of repairs for these furnitures or furnishings 
  • Printer - include paper and ink cartridges
  • Stationary 
  • Insurance

Phone & Internet

When it comes to claiming deductions for your phone bill and internet connection, you can claim a percentage of your total amount billed. Ensure you have supporting documentation as evidence to make these claims.  This includes hours worked and copies of your monthly associated expenses. 

Tax Shortcut

Due to the large spike in Australian employees switching to working from home, the Australian Taxation Office has introduced a new method to claim your tax efficiently. 

This is an option you can choose if you didn’t want to keep a record of your expenses as mentioned above. 

If you have been made to work from home by your employer, you are most likely eligible for the new 80 cents per hour tax shortcut. This means you’re able to claim 80 cents per hour for every hour you work from home, covering the cost of running expenses. This allows you to easily calculate your tax deductions instead of calculating costs for specific items. If you choose to utilise the tax shortcut, all you need to do is keep a record of how many hours you work from home.

This also applies to multiple people in one household. For example, if you and your spouse are both working from home, you can both claim for the 80 cents per hour, individually.

This tax shortcut applies from March 1st to June 30th. For more information on this, you can visit this link.



Warmest,

Karen Eley is a financial coach with more than 20 years’ experience as a financial adviser. Through her business, Women Talking Finance, she helps women to be confident and knowledgeable about all things finance. Karen translates complex financial concepts into simple digestible ideas.

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