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Working from Home Tax Claim – COVID19 benefit

Are you’re an employee who worked from home during the COVID19 crisis?

(1 March – 30 June 2020 and now extended for 1 July – 31 Dec 2020)

You may be able to use the shortcut method to claim a deduction on your tax return. This applies for both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years for expenses you incurred relating to that work.

(This does not apply if your home is your principal place of business.)

Work From Home Tax Claim shortcut method

To simplify this for most taxpayers, the ATO has introduced the shortcut method to calculate the deduction you can claim, where all you need to keep is a record of the hours that you have worked from home.

By using the shortcut method, you simply claim 80 cents per hour for each hour you worked from home.

All employees who work from home during these dates can use this method if you:

  • Are working from home to fulfil your employment duties, not just carrying out minimal tasks such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls
  • Have incurred additional running expenses as a result of working from home.

What’s included:

The shortcut method covers all your working from home expenses, such as:

  • phone expenses
  • internet expenses
  • the decline in value of equipment and furniture
  • electricity and gas for heating, cooling and lighting.

If you use this method:

  • You can’t claim any other expenses for working from home.
  • You don’t need to have a dedicated work area to use this method.
  • You must keep a record of the number of hours you have worked from home. This could be a timesheet, roster, a diary or documents that set out the hours you worked from home.

You don’t have to use the shortcut method, you can choose to use one of the previously existing methods to calculate your work from home tax claim. Similarly, if you had a work from home arrangement with your employer before 1 March 2020, then you have to use one of those existing methods to calculate your deduction for the period 1 July 2019 to 29 February 2020. More information can be found in our newsletter of June 30 2020

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