Have you been asked to work from home due to COVID-19 and are wondering what to claim for working from home?
The ATO has simplified it for you to claim home office deductions, introducing a temporary 80 cents per hour method.
This method is designed to allow all deductions relating to running expenses associated with your requirements to work from home from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.
The expenses which are included in this claim are:
- Cleaning costs for associated work area
- Phone and Internet costs
- Computer Consumables
- Depreciation of home office Furniture, furnishings and office equipment
As the 80 cents per hour method includes the above-mentioned costs, unfortunately this means no other claims relating to these expenses can be made. Therefore, if you are already required to work from home and claim this in your return, it may be best to continue using your current method.
Unlike the current home office methods, with the 80 cents per hour method there are some minor benefits:
- Your work area does not need to be in a dedicated space
- You are only required to keep a record of the hours worked from home as a result of COVID-19
- Multiple household members that are working from home can make this claim as costs do not need to be distinguished between each individual.
If the 80 cent per hour method does not work for you, as you currently claim costs for working from home, then the other methods which can be used are:
- 52 cents per work hour for heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and the depreciation in the value of office furniture, plus calculate the work-related portion (percentage) 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 needs to be calculated on a reasonable basis.
As this is a simplified method, it requires very minimal record keeping and tracking of costs for this claim – a benefit for first time working from home workers.
If you are currently making claims for working from home, the two points above may be the best benefit for you in this situation.
Contact us directly and we can discuss the best method for each individual situation in more detail with you.