Go Study Australia

Did you know you can claim tax benefits for “working from home”? Our handy guidelines will teach you how to get your additional running expenses covered!

The total lockdown has forced many of us to transform our homes into offices. This causes not only a major shift in the workflow but also raises further questions like how to claim all the extra running expenses such as higher electricity or mobile phone bills. The ATO has recently announced that all Australian taxpayers who work from home can now charge a rate of 80 cents per hour for all of their running costs, instead of claiming individual expenses items. This arrangement is temporary, but can be used individually by multiple people in the same household and applies for work done after March 1 2020.

We understand that it’s not always easy to wrap your head around tax claims, so we created some simple tips and tricks for you to make sure you won’t lose money during your new working circumstances.

DO’S

  • Collect accurate evidence

You need to keep a record of the dates and hours you worked from home as evidence of your claim. The ATO recommends creating a journal that includes four weeks of working from home hours. In case you already have been working from home before COVID-19, it’s advised to make another journal where you can write your previous hours down. This will allow a better comparison between your pre-pandemic hours and your current hours.

  • Inform yourself on available deductions

Generally, you are able to claim reimbursement for internet, phone, printing consumables, and stationery supplies. Depending on the exact position and environment of your new workspace, you might also be able to get a tax refund for cooling, lighting and cleaning costs.

  • Be mindful when claiming your expenses

Make sure, you only list your actual costs. Due to the high volume of people working from home, it can be expected that the ATO will be looking extra closely at all the work-related expenses claimed in this specific financial year.

DONT’S

  • Claim occupancy expenses

There are no tax deductions for your rent or mortgage payments unless the area has the character of a business place like a hairdresser’s salon or a photography studio.

  • Request double reimbursements

If it’s part of your work agreement that your boss already pays for certain expenses such as mobile phone costs, you can’t claim it again for your tax return.

  • Claim the full amount of your bills

Regarding the cost of your internet and phone bills, you can only claim the usage that’s actually work-related. You need to write down all of the relevant incoming and outgoing calls in order to differentiate between work and private calls.

When it comes to keeping track of your internet usage, it’s a bit more tricky. Seeking the advice of an accountant can be helpful to find a reasonable basis for your claims. 

Go Study Australia have teamed up with tax experts Taxback to help you all with getting this all taken care of, Taxback have offices all over Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Darwin and Brisbane and even if you are out in the outback doing fruit picking etc. you can look after all online with them too.
To file your tax refund with Taxback  all you need to do is complete 3 simple steps:

  • Complete the Taxback application form.
  • Submit all payment documents for each job.
  • Submit a copy of your photo ID.
  • Once you have completed the above taxback.com will be able to lodge your application asap and you will receive your refund within 10 – 12 business days.

The average refund for working holiday makers is $2,600 – that’s a lot of money!!