Money Matters

How to claim back tax when working from home


While there are definite savings when working from home, more time at home also usually means higher energy, phone and internet bills. We’ll break down some of the expenses you might be able to claim back and the ones that you probably won’t be able to.

What you could claim working from home

If working from home is your new normal, you probably want to start thinking about what you might be able to claim back now the EOFY has rolled around. It all depends on your job, but things like electricity, internet and phone bills are likely to be top of the list. Don’t forget about things like office furniture, cleaning costs, stationery and printer ink. Head to the ATO website for more info on what you could claim.

What you’re unlikely to be able to claim working from home

Unless you have a specific work area you use to run your business all year round, you probably can’t claim mortgage repayments, rent, council rates, land taxes or home and contents insurance. And just because you’re now supplying your own milk, tea and coffee, doesn’t mean you can claim those as well. If you’ve been given a work laptop, phone, desk or anything else, that’s probably also off the list. Find out more on what doesn’t qualify for a tax deduction through the ATO website.

How do you calculate your expenses?

Calculating your expenses accurately might take a bit of time. Here are some ways you could figure out the costs of working from home.

The shortcut method

This is a temporary method used to work out your working from home deduction and is only available between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2022. For more on this, check out the ATO website or speak to your accountant.

The fixed rate method

The fixed rate method lets you claim 52 cents for each hour you worked from home. For more on this, check out the ATO website or speak to your accountant.

The actual cost method

Then there’s the actual cost method that can help you work out your deduction by calculating the actual expenses incurred to produce your income when working from home. For more on this, check out the ATO website or speak to your accountant.

Making the most of your tax return

If you’re lucky enough to end up getting some cash back, check out our Save account –  a high-interest savings rate and no fees. Other ideas could be topping up your super (subject to contribution caps), boosting your emergency fund or paying off any lingering debts.

Now you have an idea of what expenses you may be able to claim, filling out your tax return will hopefully be a bit easier. You’re already one step ahead this EOFY.