What can I claim this tax year?

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Now that we are learning to live with COVID and many people are being allowed back into the office, what does it mean if you are still working from home? Are you still eligible to claim the ATO’s Short Form Method for claiming work-from-home expenses? Can you claim travel if you have a hybrid deal? What are you allowed to deduct this tax time?

With the end of the fiscal year approaching (it’s June 30), these are all questions you will soon need answers to. Ahead, Gerry Incollingo, Managing Partner of LCI Partners, breaks it down for us, sharing what you can and can’t save over this fiscal period, whether you’re working from home a few days a week or full-time, as long as because your company does not reimburse you.

Keep in mind that this is a general overview, and if you need clarification or more information on expenses, be sure to visit the ATO website or you connect with a certified tax accountant.

Air conditioning, Electricity or Gas, Heating

“You can claim part of the air conditioning, electricity or gas and heating related to keeping your workspace at the optimum temperature during working hours.”

Cleaning your office

“You can also claim part of all professional cleaning services, although it is only for cleaning the work area. The expense is not designed so that you can clean your entire house for free – sorry!

Office furniture and equipment

“Depreciation of the value of your workspace furniture, any office equipment and computers over $300 can also be claimed. Office furniture, computers, peripherals, or software under $300 can be deducted for the full amount. You can also claim the business portion of any printing, ink, toner or office stationery.

Internet and mobile phone

“You can also list Wi-Fi, landline and mobile phone bills related to your business use as expenses. Be sure to track your business and personal usage for a month. This calculation can then be applied to the income year so you don’t have to track it for 12 months. If you use the shortcut method, this does not apply.

Travel

“If you work from home, travel may also be claimed, but only if you still need to travel interstate or overseas on business or use your own vehicle to travel between clients. The ATO will be keeping a close eye on travel expenses this fiscal time, particularly if you are working from home, so keeping concise records is imperative.

Rent or mortgage (provided you meet specific criteria)

“If you are an employee working from home, you generally cannot claim rent or mortgage payments, but if you also have a side business and an ABN, you may be able to deduct some of the hours spent on your own business. – if you have a dedicated office, ie sitting at the dining room table and calling it your office is not a dedicated office space.

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