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  • Work out your eligible deductions

    When completing your tax return, you are entitled to claim deductions for some expenses, most of which are directly related to earning your income.

    To claim a work-related deduction:

    • you must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
    • it must directly relate to earning your income
    • you must have a record to prove it.

    On this page:

    Working from home

    To make claiming a deduction easier this tax time, we have introduced a new temporary shortcut method.

    This means there are now three different ways to calculate your working from home deduction for the 2019–20 financial year. You can use the method or methods that give you the best outcome, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria and record keeping requirements for each method.

    Once you have calculated your deduction, enter the amount at 'Other work-related expenses' in your tax return.

    The calculation methods are outlined below.

    Shortcut method

    You can claim 80 cents for every hour you worked from home between 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. This rate covers all deductible expenses for that period, including utilities, phone, internet, technology (such as a laptop or desktop computer) and office equipment. This is a flat rate – you can’t claim any other working from home expenses on top (for example, the cost of buying equipment).

    To use this method, you must meet the eligibility and record-keeping requirements. Specifically, you must:

    • have worked from home to fulfil your employment duties (not just doing minor tasks such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls)
    • have incurred additional expenses as a result of working from home
    • keep a record of the number of hours you worked from home (for example, with a timesheet, roster or diary).

    When completing your tax return, include ‘COVID-19 hourly rate’ in the label description field.

    Fixed rate method

    This is a fixed rate of 52 cents per hour. You must have a dedicated work area (like an office) to be eligible. This rate covers the cost of heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and the decline in value of office furniture – you can't claim any of these expenses on top. However, this rate doesn’t include the following expenses, so you need to separately calculate your work-related use of:

    • phone expenses
    • internet expenses
    • computer consumables and stationery (such as ink)
    • decline in value of equipment (such as phones, computers and laptops).

    This method requires more complex calculations and record keeping. If you plan to use it, we encourage you to read our detailed home office expenses instructions and examples or speak with your tax agent if you use one.

    Actual cost method

    This method requires more complex calculations and record keeping. If you are claiming your expenses using the actual cost method, we encourage you to read our detailed home office expenses instructions and examples or speak with your tax agent if you use one.

    See also:

    Cost of travelling from home to work

    Generally, most people can't claim a deduction for the cost of travel between home and work. If you are working from home due to COVID-19 and need to travel into your workplace, the travel still can't be claimed as it is a private expense.

    Protective equipment

    If you have been working in an occupation that requires physical contact or close proximity with customers or clients during the COVID-19 period, you may be able to claim a deduction for items such as gloves, face masks, sanitiser or anti-bacterial spray if you have paid for the items and haven't been reimbursed. This includes industries like healthcare, retail and hospitality.

    Get your work-related expense claims right

    We have developed a range of occupation guides to help determine the work-related expenses you can claim at tax time.

    See also:

    Gifts and donations

    For a gift to be deductible, it must be given to an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR). A DGR is an organisation or fund that can receive tax deductible gifts and is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). Not all charities or causes, such as crowdfunding campaigns to help needy individuals, are registered DGRs.

    You can check the DGR status of an organisation on business.gov.auExternal Link

    It is also important to keep receipts. The total value of charitable deductions you can claim without some form of written record is $10.

    You can't claim a tax deduction for donations made to social media, crowdfunding platforms or memberships (such as sporting club memberships) unless they are a registered DGR.

    See also:

    If you are not an Australian resident:

    Next steps:

      Last modified: 01 Sep 2020QC 62802