How to Claim Your Work Related Calls

Work Related Calls

Did You Know?

With tax season just around the corner, along with the rise in mobile phones use in certain industries, knowing the Australian Taxation Office mobile deduction scheme will help you receive the most out of your claims. According to some recent studies (Deloitte, 2017), there are over 30 million mobile phones in use in Australia and Australians are checking their smartphones more often. The report (Deloitte, 2017) also suggests that smartphones are in constant growth, with 88% of the Australian population at least possessing one. As these devices become crucial to people’s everyday life, the demand for advanced features such a battery storage or optimised screen resolution, increases.

On this note, smartphones are also becoming important workplace tools as businesses and individuals seize the opportunity of touching base via email, texts and phone calls with potential clients. The 2017 mobile consumer survey claims that 67% of Australian workers use 47% of their mobile phones to make work related phone calls. While it is an easily accessible opportunity for businesses and individuals, there is a fine line between using phone for work and personal time as there is an emerging trend for people to use their own mobiles with their own data for business related purposes but outside their normal work hours.

Work Related Calls – The Basic Rule

  • You can claim your phone bills if you have a record of phone calls made for business related purposes
  • Working out the percentage that “reasonably relates” to your phone usage for both work and private purposes, is essential to making the claim
  • You cannot claim for phone expenses that have been reimbursed by your employer already

Work Related Calls – The Good News

The good news is that you need to choose a typical-four-week period within the tax year. Therefore, if you have an itemised bill from your phone plan, work your percentage of work use over that 4-week period and the apply that to the full year.
A percentage calculation can include:

  • The number of work calls made as a percentage of total calls
  • The amount of time spent on work calls as a percentage of your total calls
  • The amount of data downloaded for work purposes as a percentage of your total downloads

If You Have Used Your Phone Occasionally For Business Matters Then

You can claim it although it has to be less than $50 within the whole year. The flat rate amounts are as follow:

  • $0.25 for each work call made from your home phone
  • $0.75 for each work call made from your mobile
  • $0.10 for text messages sent from your mobile

Work Related Calls – Let’s Make Up a Case Scenario

You have a prepaid mobile phone plan that costs $50 a month and while you don’t receive a monthly bill, you keep a record of your calls for a four-week representative period. During this four-week period you make 30 work calls and 60 private calls within 10 months of the income year, assuming you also have one month of leave. You therefore calculate your work use as 30% (30 work calls out of 100 total calls) and then claim a deduction of $150 in your tax return (30% x $50 x 10 months).

We, at TaxReturn.com.au, hope you find this information helpful. Contact us today to get a FREE 2018 tax estimate.