15 Tax Things All Aussies Should Consider If They've Been WFH Due To COVID-19
Including whether or not you can actually claim your rent as a tax deduction.
Like many Aussies, I've been working from home for a few months due to COVID-19.
To get some answers, I spoke to Helen Baker, financial planner and spokesperson for money.com.au, about what kind of tax deductions I can claim since I've been WFH due to COVID-19.
Firstly, you have to figure out which method of COVID-19 claims work best for your personal situation.
If you opt for the shortcut method, you can claim 80 cents for every hour of work that you've done from home between 1 March 2020 – 30 June 2020.
However, it might be more financially worthwhile to calculate and claim back the costs you've incurred.
In order to calculate your costs accurately, you'll need to have kept a log book recording all the costs you've incurred — as well as any relevant bills or receipts — for a minimum of four weeks.
While you can definitely claim work expenses on your tax return, you're often better off getting your company to reimburse you for certain expenses.
For those in client-facing positions, you might be able to get your employer to cover the cost of your phone bill.
But if you're claiming calls as a tax deduction, consider if the actual cost method is most appropriate for you.
Your boss might also be up to foot the bill for any upgrades to your internet and mobile data plans...
...as well as hardware such as a laptop, cables, a mouse and stationery.
They should also cover software subscriptions that you need to fulfil the duties of your job.
However, it's unlikely that they'll cover specific furniture that you need for your home office set up.
As your home now doubles as your workplace, you might be questioning whether your rent is tax deductible — and that depends on the conditions of your employment...
...which is similar for electricity and other utilities.
Be aware that your employer might not cover travel and parking costs that you incurred to pick up any of your things from the office.
And any of your late-night meal reimbursements may not be applicable since you've been working from home.
Aussies, do you have any other questions or tips about your 2019/20 tax returns? Drop them in the comments below!
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