How to get a bigger tax return in 2020
Since COVID-19 began, it can be unanimously agreed that the way we work has been impacted one way or another. Working from home, receiving JobSeeker payments or implementing social-distancing and health measures at work are the few results of this pandemic, and it’s no surprise that this also affects how we lodge our tax. Amidst this challenging year, the good news is that you may be able to get more money back during tax time.
I’VE INVESTED IN HOME OFFICE FURNITURE. CAN I CLAIM THESE EXPENSES?
After realising that working from home (WFH) will be a long term arrangement, you’ve gone out and spent some money buying yourself a proper chair, desk and lighting. Keep that receipt! Simply put, anything you need to use for work is tax-deductible. This includes office furniture, computers, tablets, phone and internet bills, stationery, paper and cleaning products. But hold your horses, snacks and refreshments aren’t considered a WFH essential.
WHAT ABOUT MY ENERGY BILL THAT HAS GONE THROUGH THE ROOF? IS THIS DEDUCTIBLE?
Good news! You may be eligible to tax deduct 80 cents per every hour you’ve worked at home from the ATO. This deduction includes lighting, heating, cooling, phone, internet, and office equipment’s decline in value, provided you can prove that your running expenses have increased during your WFH period. If your family or flatmates are working from home as well, everyone in the household can apply for the new 80 cents per hour rate.
Alternatively, you can opt to calculate your actual expenses yourself. This is a bit more time consuming but may work out even better.
MY WORK HOURS HAVE BEEN REDUCED. HOW DOES THIS AFFECT MY TAX?
If you’ve lost your job or had your hours reduced during COVID-19, you may be looking at a larger tax refund this year. Your employer has withheld your taxes based on methods that estimate annual earnings, so if your hours have been affected by the pandemic, and your loss of income is significant enough, it’s possible that your tax may have been over deducted and you’ll see a bigger refund come tax time.
TO KEEP MYSELF SAFE AT WORK, I’VE HAD TO OPEN MY WALLET. WHAT CAN I CLAIM?
If you had to pay out of your own pocket for safety supplies such as gloves, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitiser and face masks for work, you’d be able to deduct them.
General Advice Warning. The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation.
Date Posted: 14 August 2020