Please note this new method is effective from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. It will then be reviewed.
The ATO has just announced a relaxation to the normal working from home rules and introduced a new 80 cent per hour fixed rate to cover ALL deductions.
There are now three ways you can choose to calculate your additional running expenses:
shortcut method ─ claim a rate of 80 cents per work hour for all additional running expenses
fixed rate method ─ claim all of these:
actual cost method ─ claim the actual work-related portion of all your running expenses, which you need to calculate on a reasonable basis.
Under the SHORTCUT method, you can claim a deduction of 80 cents for each hour you work from home due to COVID-19 as long as you are:
working from home to fulfil your employment duties and not just carrying out minimal tasks such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls,
incurring additional deductible running expenses as a result of working from home.
You do not have to have a separate or dedicated area of your home set aside for working, such as a private study.
The shortcut method rate covers all deductible running expenses, including:
electricity for lighting, cooling or heating and running electronic items used for work (for example your computer), and gas heating expenses
the decline in value and repair of capital items, such as home office furniture and furnishings
your phone costs, including the decline in value of the handset
your internet costs
computer consumables, such as printer ink
the decline in value of a computer, laptop or similar device.
You do not have to incur all of these expenses, but you must have incurred additional expenses in some of those categories as a result of working from home due to COVID-19.
If you use the shortcut method to claim a deduction for your additional running expenses, you cannot claim a further deduction for any of the expenses listed above.
You must keep a record of the number of hours you have worked from home as a result of COVID-19. Examples are timesheets, diary notes or rosters.
You can do your consultation with your preferred local consultant over the phone and share documents electronically.