3 Things to Consider before Claiming Tax Deductions for Working from Home

Working from home has grown in popularity, especially with the expansion of the internet. With cloud servers providing central file storage and flexible working conditions becoming the Australian norm, it is really no surprise. However, are you aware of the implications working from home can have on your tax return? Don’t fret! Most of the time, people – from small business owners to salespeople to other flexible workers – are simply missing some important tax deductions available to them. The team at TaxReturn.com.au have collated three main tax considerations to look out for in 2018-19.

How You Work from Home

There are three categories the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) use to decide applicable tax deductions for your situation. These categories relate to the times you worked at home, and how regular those times are.

Full time

Applies to those whose home is also their place of business with a specific work area. For example, an Australian small business operator who operates their business from their home office.

Part time

Applies to workers whose home is not their primary place of business or work but has a dedicated work area there. An example of this would be a graphic designer who worked out of a central studio, but often worked on client designs at home in their home office.

Intermittent

Applies to workers whose home is not their primary place of business but sometimes work from home without a dedicated work area. An example of this would be an editor who occasionally brings their work home to complete proofs from their living room.

What You Use Working from Home

Generally, there are rules regarding what you can and can’t claim as tax deductions, depending on your category.

Claim How you work
  Full time Part time Intermittent
Occupancy expenses

Cost of owning or renting

YES NO NO
Running expenses

Cost of using a space, like electricity

YES YES YES
Work phone costs

Work-related phone calls

YES YES YES
Depreciation of
office equipment
Like desks and computers
YES YES YES
Depreciation of furnishings

Like carpets and curtains

YES YES NO

Of course, within these claims you will need to work out the percentage of costs associated with working from home. It is recommended to see a trusted tax accountant to figure these out, as the ATO has been cracking down on unfounded claims from individuals. Your tax accountant will provide you with peace of mind in claiming your tax deductions, as well as confidence in your overall tax return.

Your Working from Home Records

This is probably the biggest non-secret of getting a good tax return – receipts! Having your invoices, receipts and other records organised all year leads to easy calculation of your tax deductions. The ATO even offers a home office expenses calculator to give you an idea of what you’ll get back on your working from home claims.

Get Professional Help with Your Next Tax Return

The safest bet when it comes to claiming tax deductions on your next tax return is to enlist professional help. Luckily the local Australian team at TaxReturn.com.au are registered, experienced and ready to get you the maximum return no matter how you work.

Contact us today and start your tax return online or over the phone – you can even do it while working from home!

Tried it and loved it, great service.

Ben Abbas

Go my refund quick, the accountant took their time to go through all i could claim and got me more than i expected. Thanks guys!

Bridget Ngulube