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[av_heading heading=’Tax deductible expenses when WFH | series 2′ tag=’h1′ link_apply=” link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=’6vw’ subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’20’ margin=’0′ margin_sync=’true’ padding=’0′ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#000000′ av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” av_uid=’av-k9yxgyl1′ custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=’rgb(34, 34, 34)’][/av_heading]

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In last series, we mentioned the expenses that can be used for tax deduction when you work from home. Now, let us have a look at the calculation for these expenses and examples related to them.
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Running expenses

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There are two methods to calculate running expenses:

Claiming a fixed rate of 52 cents per hour

You can use a fixed rate of 52 cents per hour for each hour that you work from home (instead of recording all of your actual expenses for heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and the decline in value of furniture).

To claim using this method keep records of either:

You can then apply this amount of use across the remainder of the year to determine your full claim. You need to separately work out your expenses for:

Calculate your actual expenses

If you have a dedicated work area, you can claim additional running costs and the decline in value of office furniture used in the area for work purposes.

To calculate actual expenses for your dedicated work area, you can:

You must also take into account if any other members of your household use the home office and, if so, apportion your expenses accordingly.

To claim a deduction for an asset that cost $300 or more, you need to calculate the decline in value for both the period you:

You can use the depreciation and capital allowances tool to calculate your deduction for the decline in value of equipment, furniture and furnishings that cost more than $300.If you don’t have a dedicated work area, you should work out the actual cost of your heating, cooling and electricity expenses. You can do this by working out the cost of running each unit you used per hour and multiplying that by the hours you worked from home. The amount of the additional expense is generally small, especially if there are other people using the area at the same time you are working. In those circumstances, there is no additional cost for lighting, heating or cooling.
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[av_heading heading=’Example 1′ tag=’h1′ link_apply=” link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=’30’ subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ margin=’25,,,’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#000000′ custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=’rgb(34, 34, 34)’ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=”][/av_heading]

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A dedicated room for work

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Julia is a lawyer who works as an employee for a large city firm. Julia’s employer has agreed that she can work from home two days per week.

She has a home office that she works in on the days she does not travel to the city. Julia and members of her family also use the home office for private purposes, including personal use of the computer and to store household items.

Julia can claim the running costs, but only the portion of the expenses that relate to her work-related use of the home office. In working out her work-related use of the home office and computer, Julia must take into account her own private use and also her family’s private use of the home office and computer.
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[av_heading heading=’Example 2′ tag=’h1′ link_apply=” link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=’30’ subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ margin=’25,,,’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#000000′ custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=’rgb(34, 34, 34)’ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=”][/av_heading]

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No set work area

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James is a high school teacher. From time to time, James works in the lounge room at home to mark tests and prepare end of term reports. He does not have a room set aside exclusively for work.

If James’s family is not at home or not in the lounge room with him, he can claim the specific running costs associated with the work he does at home. This includes the work-related portion of the decline in value of the laptop he used to prepare the reports and the additional cost of lighting, heating or cooling his lounge room. He is also able to claim for the cost of the electricity required to power his laptop for the hours that he uses it to work from home.

If his family was in the lounge room watching television at the same time that he was in there marking tests and preparing end of term reports, James could not claim the additional cost of lighting, heating and cooling his lounge room. However, he can still claim the cost of electricity required to power his laptop for the time he spent working and the work-related proportion of the decline in value of the laptop he uses to prepare reports.
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[av_heading heading=’Example 3′ tag=’h1′ link_apply=” link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=’30’ subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ margin=’25,,,’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#000000′ custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=’rgb(34, 34, 34)’ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=”][/av_heading]

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Chooses to work from home

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Natalie is a web developer for a large company and usually works from her office in the city. While Natalie is not required to work from home, her employer supports it. Natalie is not provided with the work equipment to use at home, so she uses her own laptop, internet connection, mobile phone and thumb drive and completes her work in her study. She is not reimbursed by her employer for these costs.

Natalie is entitled to claim running costs including the work-related proportion of the decline in value on her laptop, her office desk and chair, and a percentage of lighting, heating and cooling. This is because it reflects her work-related use of the office, as well as the cost of using her own internet connection and mobile phone for work. Natalie needs to apportion these expenses to take her private use into account.
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Occupancy expenses

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If eligible, occupancy expenses = Total expenses × floor area × percentage of year that part of your home was used exclusively for work
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Phone and Internet expenses

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You can claim up to $50 with limited documents

If your work use is incidental and you are not claiming a deduction of more than $50 in total, you may make a claim based on the following, without having to analyse your bills. The rates you can use to work out the cost for your work calls are:

You can calculate your actual expenses

If you have a phone or internet plan where you received an itemised bill, you need to determine your percentage of work use over a four-week representative period. You can then apply this to the full year.

You need to work out the percentage using a reasonable basis. This could include:

If you have a bundled plan, you need to:

The same method should be used for non-itemised plans.

You need to keep records for a four-week representative period in each income year to claim a deduction of more than $50. These records include phone and internet bills.
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Disclaimer: This is general information only and is subject to change at any time. Your complete financial situation will need to be assessed before acceptance of any proposal or product. The Content provided herein has been prepared for informational purposes only. The Content does not constitute tax, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek tax, legal or accounting advice before acting or relying on any Content.

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