The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is announcing special arrangements this year due to COVID-19 to make it easier for people to claim deductions for working from home.
The new arrangement will allow people to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses, rather than needing to calculate costs for specific running expenses.
Multiple people living in the same house can claim this new rate. For example, a couple living together could each individually claim the 80 cents per hour rate. The requirement to have a dedicated work from home area has also been removed.
Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat said the new shortcut method will make it easier for those who are working from home for the first time.
“The shortcut method provides a rate of 80 cents per hour and will only require you to keep a record of the number of hours worked from home,” Ms Foat said,
“This recognises that many taxpayers are working from home for the first time and makes claiming a deduction much easier.
“If you choose to use this shortcut method, all you need to do is keep a record of the hours you worked from home as evidence of your claim.”
This new shortcut arrangement does not prohibit people from making a working from home claim under existing arrangements, where you calculate all or part of your running expenses.
Claims for working from home expenses prior to 1 March 2020 cannot be calculated using the shortcut method, and must use the pre-existing working from home approach and requirements.
The ATO will review the special arrangement for the next financial year as the COVID-19 situation progresses.
Bianca is an employee who works as a copy writer and editor. Bianca starts working from home on 16 March as a result of COVID-19 and replaces her face-to-face meetings with online video conferencing.