As more and more workers are being pushed to work from home, you may be interested to know that you can further claim on expenditures at a higher rate than previous tax returned lodged.
What you can possibly claim
- printer usage
- Heating, cooling and lighting bills;
- Costs of cleaning your home working area;
- Depreciation of home office furniture and fittings;
- Depreciation of office equipment and computers;
- Costs of repairing home office equipment, furniture and furnishings;
- Small capital items such as furniture and computer equipment costing less than $300 can be written off in full immediately (they don’t need to be depreciated);
- Computer consumables (like printer ink) and stationery; and
- Phone (mobile and/or landline) and internet expenses
- cannot claim occupancy expenses such as mortgage interest, rent and rates
- cannot claim the cost of coffee, tea, milk and other general household items your employer may otherwise have provided you with at work.
- You must have spent the money;
- The expense must be directly related to earning your income.;
- You must have a record to prove it;
- That you had to work from home, ordered by your employer;
- and that YOU WERE NOT reimbursed for those expenses.
Calculating these expenses
There are 3 methods. Read here for more detail.
We strongly prefer that you keep a log/diary of your expenses
work out how much of your household running expenses relate to doing work in your home office. The diary needs to detail the time you spend in the home office, compared with other users of the home office. Keep your diary record for a representative four-week period. The ‘work-use proportion’ you come up with over that four-week period can then be applied to all your actual expenditure over the course of the year. Of the two methods this usually produces the larger deduction but the record-keeping requirements are more stringent.
It may well be that you are already work from home from time to time but that the amount of home-working will spike over the next few weeks or months. If that’s the case, keep a separate diary for the period of your ‘corona-induced’ home working to justify the larger claim over this period – and don’t try to apply this larger work-related proportion to the whole year!
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