What you can claim this year on your tax return

 

A new tax shortcut for people that have had to transition to working from home could take the stress out of lodging your tax return this year.

The new shortcut will allow people to claim 80 cents for every hour worked from home.

University of Southern Queensland tax expert Associate Professor Toni Brackin said the new measure will help people those confused about what they can claim, especially if it is their first time working from home.

 

Those working from home are advised to keep a diary of their hours worked.
Those working from home are advised to keep a diary of their hours worked. Contributed

"For people who have never worked from home before it is a good thing," Ms Brackin said.

"It means all you have to do is keep a diary of the hours you worked from home to be entitled to claim the 80 cents for every hour worked from home.

"There are often different methods of claiming, before this new method came in you had two methods of claim before.

"You could work out your actual work-related expenses for everything or you could use the 52 cents an hour method.

"For people that have gone and purchased ex amount of stuff for work, it might be better for them to use a normal method of claim anyway which might give them a better claim over the 80 cents an hour."

The new shortcut method will apply to work from home from March 1 until the end of the financial year.

The shortcut is being rolled out to help Aussies who may be working from home for the first time as a result of COVID-19.
The shortcut is being rolled out to help Aussies who may be working from home for the first time as a result of COVID-19.

"Anybody can claim the new 80 cents an hour, previously you had to prove you had a dedicated home office area to be able to claim it on tax.

"What they're saying now is that is not necessarily a requirement, even if you have a little set up in your loungeroom and kitchen you can still claim."

There are several things to consider when making your tax return claim.

"One of the big misconceptions with claims for working from home is that you can claim a portion or your rent or mortgage which you can't," she said.

"You can only do that if you run a business from home and even then there are some exceptions."

"You also can't claim for your tea and coffee as well."

Ms Brackin also said it pays to stay on top of things and make sure you had everything you needed when the time came to lodge your tax.

"And the other thing is if you are using the online system is making sure that you have your records in advance before making your return."

Read more stories by Samtui Selave.



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