COVID-19, Self-Isolation, Working from Home and What You Can Claim as a Tax Deduction...
At Select Accounting we have made the decision to ‘self-isolate’ for a period of time following suit of many business colleagues who we have been speaking with over the past few days. Our staff, as of today, will be working from their home offices.
We believe that this ensures the safety and well-being of our families should they be unable to attend school, work or university and to also be available for our elderly family and friends who may need our support during the coming weeks.
"The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic:
There is currently no widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Australia, however there have been 375 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia as of 9am this morning, Tuesday 17 March 2020. Across the world there have been more than 174,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 6,800 deaths*, **."
Although these Australian numbers may appear insignificant, the number of cases is expected to climb dramatically over the coming weeks and we feel that we want to be on the front-foot, prepared and well-equipped to be able to support our clients, colleagues and most importantly our families.
Home Office Tax Deductions
Working from home can come with its own challenges, not least the additional costs that it imposes on employees. As employees face increased uncertainty about job security, they may also be concerned about the increased costs that come with working from home. Telephone and internet use, the costs of heating and cooling, and cleaning are just some of the additional costs incurred whilst working from home.
The questions is…"Is it possible to claim a tax deduction for any of these extra costs?"
Thankfully, the answer is Yes, absolutely!
Following are some examples of home office expenses that you can claim for the work-related proportion you use whilst working from your home office:
Computers, printers, telephones and furniture and furnishings.
You can claim the full cost for items up to $300 or depreciation of items over $300
Heating, cooling and lighting
Repairs to your home office equipment, furniture and furnishings
Other running expenses including computer consumables (i.e.; printer paper and ink) and stationery.
There are two options to calculate your running expenses:
You can claim a fixed rate of 52 cents per hour
You can calculate your actual expenses, if you have a dedicated work area
Phone and Internet expenses
If your telephone and internet expenses are work-related you can claim up to $50 with limited documentation or you can calculate your actual expenses. Note you need to keep records for a consecutive four-week period to be able to claim more than $50
In the Meantime
As always if you are unsure and need any assistance or guidance in regards to the above, please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
In the meantime as we support each other during these uncertain times we would like to extend our support to you and assure you that we are 100% available, should you need to discuss your financial position, cashflow or even just a friendly chat.