Whether you’ve been indulging in the #wfh life or you’re itching to get back into the office, you’re probably getting ready for a nice plump tax return.
With the entire country making the move to a more pyjama-friendly version of productivity, the ATO is set to clamp down hard on dodgy deductions – you know, those ones that you really ‘shouldn’t’ claim, but you do anyway?
If you’re keen to avoid all of the sweating and panting that comes with a tax audit, you should get up close and personal with the nitty gritty of what you can and can’t claim. We explored it below:
Let’s face it, home-office expenses are definitely the Poseidon’s chest of tax deductions. In exciting news, the ATO has introduced something called a temporary shortcut method (TSM) which involves providing a record for every hour that you worked during the last financial year. In doing this, you can claim a whopping 80 cents of home-office expenses, so make sure you keep a file of the hours you worked. The TSM is a blanket calculation that includes things like your phone bill, electricity, internet, as well as the depreciation of office equipment, costs of repairing home office equipment and small capital items such as furniture.
And just a PSA, the TSM was introduced during COVID-19 to reduce the need for people to separately claim specific expenses – so make sure you’re not claiming separate additional deductions and double dipping if you do take this route!
While it may seem obvious, it’s important to note that every expense you claim must be directly related to your job. If you’re dead set on claiming far-fetched deductions, you’re bound to grab the ATO’s attention.
It’s the season of self-education courses, so if you’ve levelled up during lockdown and it’s directly related to professional development in your chosen – and current – career, you can claim your course fees, as well as things like textbooks and stationery. It’s important to note that the course also needs to be completed formally through a school, college, university or other educational or training provider.
Cleaning feels easier when you can claim it on tax! Using wipe-and-spray to wipe your desk down? Or you’re paying for a cleaner to vacuum and mop? The good news is that everything to do with cleaning your office is tax-deductible – just be sure to keep your receipt (and remember that you can only claim it for the office section of your home).