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 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.