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Working from home due to COVID-19 health restrictions means you may be able to simply claim home office expenses again this tax time after the Australian Tax Office extended a shortcut method.
The coronavirus pandemic may mean your working arrangements have changed. If you have been working from home, you may have expenses like power, phone and internet costs you can claim a deduction for at tax time.
To claim a deduction for working from home:
This means you can't claim a deduction for items provided by your employer, or if you have been reimbursed for the expense.
The Australian Tax Office has extended special arrangements it made to make it easier to claim deductions at tax time for those extra costs you may have incurred by working from home.1
If you have a record of the hours you worked at home, such as a diary note or timesheet, then you may be able to use the ATO’s simplified method to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for your work-from-home expenses.
If you use this method, you can't claim any other expenses for working from home for that period.
When you are calculating the number of hours you worked from home, you need to exclude any time when you took a break from working.
You could use the shortcut method to calculate your working-from-home expenses for the period between:
Employees who worked from home during these dates can use this method if you:
You can claim expenses incurred working from home during COVID-19 by the simplified shortcut method or one of the old methods available to calculate your running expenses. You can use the method or methods that will give you the best outcome as long as you meet the working criteria and record keeping requirements for each method.
The shortcut method means you can claim a rate of 80 cents per work hour for all additional running expenses. You don’t need to have a dedicated work area to use the shortcut method.
The fixed-rate method means claiming:
The actual-cost method means claiming the actual work-related portion of all your running expenses, which you need to calculate on a reasonable basis.
What you can claim
If you have been working from home, your claim may mean a deduction for the additional running expenses you incur. These may include:
What you can’t claim
If you have been working from home only due to COVID-19, you can't claim:
If you use the shortcut method to claim a deduction, you cannot claim a further deduction for any of the individual expenses covered by the claim.
The ATO says you do not have to incur all of the expenses listed below, but you must have incurred additional expenses in some of those categories as a result of working from home due to COVID-19.
The shortcut method rate covers all deductible running expenses, including:
Simply log in to Member Online or download the QSuper app
1. Australian Taxation Office, Working from home during COVID-19, 26 April 2022, at ato.gov.au
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