Locks trigger explosion of fiscal shortcut in pandemic
“We anticipate that the adoption of the shortcuts method will increase because it is a simple and easy method for taxpayers to use.”
The temporary shortcut method can be claimed by multiple people living under the same roof and, unlike existing deduction methods, does not require a dedicated workspace.
The only evidence taxpayers need to provide is the number of hours worked from home – through a timesheet or journal entries.
Mr Loh said the increased awareness of the shortcut method is expected to lead to greater adoption this year.
âThe key thing we want people to understand is that you can only choose one method for this year,â he said.
âThe 80 cents an hour method is all inclusive, so it covers all of your running costs, including your cleaning, cooling, heating and lighting costs, depreciation of your home office equipment,â depreciation of technological items like the iPad and laptops, as well as your phone and internet costs. “
Despite the growth in claims for work-related deductions, some claims are not on the ATO’s agenda.
Personal expenses such as coffee, tea and toilet paper cannot be claimed, as well as expenses related to children’s education, including online learning and laptops.
Any expense that costs more than $ 300, in total or per item, such as computers, cannot be claimed immediately. These requests should be spread over several years.
Working from home does not mean that your home is a place of business for tax purposes. Therefore, employees generally cannot claim occupancy costs such as rent, mortgage interest, home insurance, property taxes and rates.
Mr Loh said certain types of spending would drop.
âWe expect car and travel costs to drop dramatically because people are working from home,â he said.
Taxpayers are again encouraged to file their annual return later in July, allowing essential information to be pre-filled with employers, health funds and financial institutions.
âOur advice is that if you are staying [later], it will help simplify the tax filing process, save you time, and help you get the correct tax return.
âIf you want to stay early, be sure to include all of that third-party income.â