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Home office 2019/20

Jarrod Rogers CPA, 3 July 2020

No… you definitely can’t.

…claim your coffee machine, that is.

There are lots of things you can claim a deduction for if you’ve had to work from home during the great corona panic of 2020, but the ATO are clear on what you can’t claim.

And if you’re just here for the excel spreadsheet, it’s at the very bottom of the post.

With that out of the way, what can you claim?

It depends on the time of the year and whether you had a place to work at.

We’ve covered this on our YouTube channel in two videos.

The standard home office rules:

The COVID-19 shortcut deduction:

But it’s as simple as this:

  • The old rules apply to at least 29 February 2020- even if you were full time from home before then.
  • The new rules apply from 1 March 2020, but if weren’t asked to stay home until after this time, use a later start date. For most of us, that was 24 March 2020.

Basically, you’ll need to work out deductions for two distinct parts of the year.

Existing method

Shortcut method

52 cents per hour for

  • heating/cooling
  • electricity
  • decline in value of office furniture
  • Office cleaning

Separate deductions for

  • Phone (total cost x work use %)
  • Internet (total cost x work use %)
  • Consumables / stationery
  • Devices and computers (decline in value)
  • Software or online subscriptions

80 cents per hour for

  • heating and cooling;
  • electricity;
  • decline in value of office furniture;
  • Cleaning;
  • Telephone (incl decline in value of handset)
  • Internet;
  • Consumables e.g. printer ink
  • Stationery
  • Decline in value of computer

Separate deductions for:

  • Software or online subscriptions

If you only worked from home after corona, it’s easy.

Hours worked x 80 cents.

From Monday 23 March to Wednesday 30 June 2020 was 69 work days.

14 full weeks x 5 = 70 work days, plus 2 days in the week of 29 June minus three public holidays (Good Friday, Easter Monday, Queen’s Birthday in Vic).

Adjust if you were part time or took leave.

Let’s say it was 69 days. Multiply by hours per day (say 8hr/day) and multiply by 80 cents. 80 x 8 x $0.80/hr = $441.60.

Use the narration “COVID-hourly rate” in your tax return.

If you worked from home a bit before COVID and a bit after, we’ve made an excel sheet to help you work it out.

Home office calculator 2020

Hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you at your tax appointment.

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