ATO: Simplifying Deductions for Working From Home

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is announcing special arrangements this year due to COVID-19 to make it easier for people to claim deductions for working from home.

The new arrangement will allow people to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses, rather than needing to calculate costs for specific running expenses.

There are three ways that you can choose to calculate your additional running expenses for the 1 March – 30 June period:

  • claim a rate of 80 cents per work hour for all additional running expenses.
  • claim a rate of 52 cents per work hour for heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and the declinein value of office furniture, plus calculate the work-related portion of your phone and internet expenses, computer consumables, stationery and the decline in value of a computer, laptop or similar device.
  • claim the actual work-related portion of all your running expenses, which you need tocalculate on a reasonable basis.

The ATO is also reminding people that the three golden rules for deductions still apply. Taxpayers must have spent the money themselves and not have been reimbursed, the claim must be directly related to earning income, and there must be a record to substantiate the claim.

Claims for working from home expenses prior to 1 March 2020 should be calculated using the existing approaches and are subject to the existing requirements.

More information about working from home is available at https://www.ato.gov.au/General/COVID-19/Support-for-individuals-and-employees/Employees-working-from-home/


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