The coronavirus lockdown has meant many taxpayers are working from home for the first time. A special shortcut method just introduced means there are three methods to claim in the 2020 income tax return.
Shortcut method for work-space
- Claim 80¢ per hour worked at home after 1st March 2020 per taxpayer. A reliable daily time record is needed – has that been kept?
Fixed method for home office
- Claim 52¢ per hour for utilities, plus a percentage of phone, internet, stationery, consumables and depreciation of office equipment costing more than $300.
Actual method for home office
- Claim a percentage of all expenses including electricity, gas, cleaning, phone, internet, stationery, consumables, and depreciation of office equipment costing more than $300.
A four week diary establishes a fair percentage for the work pattern.
As always, the taxpayer needs reliable records. Keeping receipts is fundamental.
Taking a photo of your home office or work-space with date and time on computer screen is simple, yet effective. Just keep private or personal information out of view.
If in doubt, ask your accountant. And pay before year-end some of those July expenses to claim in the earlier year.