New method for claiming home office expenses during COVID19

During this stressful time, our governments are looking at all sorts of ways to simplify processes, to help people get access to support.

In exciting news for individual taxpayers – the Australian Tax Office has announced a temporary simplified short cut method, to make it easier for you to claim deductions for additional running expenses incurred as a result of working from home due to COVID19.

So, what does this mean for you, and exactly how will you benefit from these measures?

We have broken down the details for you.


New method for claiming home office expenses – 80 cents per hour

This announcement means individuals can claim a deduction for all running expenses incurred during the period from the 1st of March to the 31st of December, 2020 – based on a rate of 80 cents for each hour you carry out genuine work activities from home.

Existing arrangements generally require an analysis of specific running expenses and more onerous record keeping – so this definitely makes things simpler, and allows you to claim more than the standard amount.


What exactly does it cover?

The new method for claiming home office expenses during COVID19 is designed to cover all deductible running expenses associated with working from home, for the specified period above.

Let’s get to the specifics of what it covers:

  • Electricity expenses associated with heating, cooling and lighting the area at home which is being used for work
  • Cleaning costs for a dedicated work area
  • Phone and internet expenses
  • Computer consumables (eg printer paper and ink)
  • Stationery
  • Depreciation of home office furniture and furnishings (eg office desk and chair)
  • Depreciation of home office equipment (eg computer and printer)
  • Under the new method, separate claims cannot be made for any of the above running expenses.


Other key points from the 80 cents per hour method

According to the ATO’s announcement:

  1. There is no requirement to have a separate or dedicated area at home set aside for working
  2. Multiple people living in the same house could claim under this method, individually
  3. You would only be required to keep a record of the number of hours worked from home as a result of COVID19, during the above period.


Get some clarity

If you believe you could benefit from this new method for claiming home office expenses, but are unsure about the best way to tackle your claim – get in touch.

We can ensure you are claiming the maximum amount available, while complying with the rules.

We are here to ease the burden during this difficult time. Let us take this job off your to do list!

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