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Has COVID-19 got you working from home?

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced special arrangements this year for anyone who is working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


This new special arrangement will allow people who are working from home to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour to cover all the running costs associated with working from home throughout the period from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.


This rate will cover all lighting, heating, cooling, cleaning, depreciation of furniture and other equipment, home telephone, home internet, computer consumables and other stationery. The only substantiation you would need to keep is a record of the number of hours you have worked from home during the above period.


The normal rules still apply to the period from 1 July 2019 to 29 February 2020, and you can of course continue using these rules for the full year if you want to (especially if it results in a better tax outcome for you).


Just as a reminder for you, the normal rules are:


- Claiming a rate of 52 cents per hour for the heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and decline in value (depreciation) of your office furniture

  • Records required: a record of the number of hours worked

- Calculate the work-related portion of your home phone and internet expenses

  • Records required: a logbook of internet usage (work vs private) and monthly bills

- Calculate the work-related portion of your computer consumables and stationery

  • Records required: a logbook of usage (work vs private) and invoices/receipts for actual expenses

- Calculate the work-related portion of the decline in value of your computer/laptop

  • Records required: a logbook of computer usage (work vs private) and invoices/receipts for actual expenses

The simplified rate of 80 cents per hour might be very appealing to a high number of taxpayers given the reduced evidence requirements!


As always, please call to discuss, we are here to lead you through these incredibly challenging times.





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