Many of us continue to work from home, at least for some days each week, and while that can save on expenses, it can incur others.
Here is what the ATO has to say about deductions that can be made, or not, when filing your tax return.
To claim your working from home expenses, you must:
– be working from home to fulfil employment duties, not just carrying out minimal tasks, such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls;
– incur additional expenses as a result of working from home.
You can claim a deduction for any additional running expenses related to the use of facilities within your home, including:
– electricity expenses for heating or cooling and lighting;
– the decline in value of office furniture and furnishings as well other items used for work, such as a laptop;
– internet expenses;
– phone expenses.
In some circumstances, you may also be entitled to claim occupancy expenses, such as mortgage interest, rent, council and water rates, land taxes and house insurance premiums.
The other side of that, however, is that you can only claim occupancy expenses if you can show that:
– it was necessary for you to work from home because your employer doesn’t provide you with an alternative place to work from; and
– the area of your home that you use for work is (almost) exclusively used for work purposes.
You can’t claim a deduction for the following expenses if you’re an employee working at home:
– coffee, tea, milk and other general household items, even if your employer may provide these at work;
– costs that relate to your children’s education such as equipment you buy – for example, iPads and desks, subscriptions for online learning;
– items your employer provides – for example, a laptop or a phone;
– any items where your employer pays for or reimburses you for the expense.
For more information and some handy calculators, visit the ato.gov website and search ‘work from home expenses’.