Here’s What You Can Claim On Tax If You’ve Been Working From Home

By Gerry Incollingo
7th Jul 2021

collage of people and home set up

Hoping for a big and juicy tax return? This is not the year to try and sneak through those extra deductions you’re ‘technically’ not entitled to. The ATO is cracking down on tax refunds. If you don’t want to come under close scrutiny (also known as the ol' tax audit), it’s important to know what you can claim —particularly if you’ve been working from home.

Here's what you claim on tax if you've been working from home.

How To Claim Home-Office Expenses

For every hour that you work during the year, you can claim 80 cents. This covers electricity, phone, Wi-Fi and depreciation of office equipment. This is the easiest way to calculate the business-related costs, but not necessarily the method that’s going to maximise your tax refund. It’s important to have records to show the hours that you worked from home. And if you are claiming home-office expenses, you’ll attract the ATO’s attention if you submit large claims for business travel and laundry costs.

How To Claim Charity Donations

Good deeds are rewarded with being able to claim back donations to registered charities. It’s important to note not all charity donations are tax deductible. For example, donating to tragedies via crowdfunding pages, such as GoFundMe, are not tax deductible, but a cash gift over $2 to the RSPCA is. You can claim back a maximum of $10 of bucket donations without receipts to approved charities. 

How To Claim Self-Education Courses

If you’ve undertaken formal training to continue your professional development in your chosen career, you can claim course fees, stationery and textbooks. For example, if you’re a veterinarian and you complete a formal qualification in dog psychology so you can offer it as an additional service at your vet clinic, this is deductible.

How To Claim Office Cleaning

Cleaning your office is tax-deductible. Whether it’s for the anti-bacterial wipes used to wipe down your office desk or you pay for a cleaner to vacuum and wash windows in your dedicated office space, you can claim this. Keep receipts as proof, and remember it only applies to the office portion of your home, not your entire house.

How To Claim Personal Superannuation Contributions

You can’t claim on super fund contributions made by your employer, but you can claim on extra personal contributions as long as it doesn’t exceed $25,000 for the financial year. If you go over the concessional cap, you may have to pay extra tax.

Gerry Incollingo is the Managing Director of LCI Partners in 1998, an established accounting, finance and legal firm based in Parramatta. Since that time, the firm has expanded with six divisions and is now based in Sydney, Parramatta, and southern Sydney.

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