Working from home? Claiming tax deductions just got a whole lot easier

author-avatar By on April 07, 2020
Working from home? Claiming tax deductions just got a whole lot easier

Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash

If you're one of the millions of Australians now working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, it just got a bit easier for you to claim tax deductions.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is introducing special arrangements this year for people working at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new arrangements, people will now be able to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses, rather than needing to calculate costs for specific running expenses.

Multiple people living in the same house will also be able to individually claim the 80 cents per hour rate. 

The requirement to have a dedicated work from home area has also been removed.

According to the ATO, the changes will apply for the period from March 1 to June 30. After this, the ATO will review the special arrangement for the next financial year as the pandemic progresses.

Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat said the new shortcut method will make it easier for those who are adjusting to working from home for the first time.

“The shortcut method provides a rate of 80 cents per hour and will only require you to keep a record of the number of hours worked from home,” Ms Foat said,

“This recognises that many taxpayers are working from home for the first time and makes claiming a deduction much easier.

“If you choose to use this shortcut method, all you need to do is keep a record of the hours you worked from home as evidence of your claim.”

The new arrangement does not prohibit people from making a working from home claim under existing arrangements, where you calculate all or part of your running expenses.

"Claims for working from home expenses prior to 1 March 2020 cannot be calculated using the shortcut method, and must use the pre-existing working from home approach and requirements," Ms Foat said.

Disclaimers does not provide tax advice. This material has not been prepared by and is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax advice.

For tax advice relevant to you, visit the ATO or consult an independent tax advisor

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Emma Duffy is Assistant Editor at Your Mortgage and  Your Investment Property Mag, which are part of the Savings Media Group. In this role, she manages a team of journalists and expert contributors committed to keeping readers informed about the latest home loan and finance news and trends, as well as providing in-depth property guides. She is also a finance journalist at which she joined shortly after its launch in early 2019. Emma has a Bachelor in Journalism and has been published in several other publications and been featured on radio.


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