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  • COVID-19 measures and support

    Specific measures and support are available for individuals impacted by COVID-19.

    Find out about:

    See also:

    COVID-19 early release of superannuation

    Individuals financially affected by COVID-19 could access some of their superannuation early. You will not need to pay tax on these released amounts and will not need to include it in your tax return.

    See also:

    Eligible citizens and permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand could submit one application between 1 July and 31 December 2020.

    To learn more, see Early access to your super.

    Working from home

    We understand that due to COVID-19 your working arrangements may have changed. If you have worked from home, you may have expenses you can claim a deduction for at Tax Time.

    Tracking these expenses can be challenging, so we have introduced a temporary shortcut method. It's a simple way to calculate these expenses with minimal record keeping requirements. The shortcut method can be applied from 1 July 2020 until 30 June 2021.

    Using the shortcut method, at Other work-related expenses, you can claim a deduction of 80 cents per hour for each hour you work from home during the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. Anyone working from home in this period can use this shortcut method. The shortcut method can be used by multiple people working from home in the same house.

    You can choose this rate if you:

    • worked from home to fulfil your employment duties, not just carrying out minimal tasks such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls
    • incurred additional running expenses as a result of working from home.

    If you use the shortcut method, you can't claim any other expenses for working from home.

    You must keep a record of the number of hours you have worked from home. This could be a timesheet, roster, diary or documents that set out the hours you worked from home.

    To learn more about claiming a deduction for working from home in your myTax return, see Other work-related expenses.

    To learn more, see Working from home during COVID-19.

    JobKeeper Payment

    The JobKeeper payment supported businesses affected by coronavirus. It is a wage subsidy, which means it was paid to your employer to help cover the cost of wages they had already paid to some employees.

    If you want to know if your employer was participating in the JobKeeper scheme, you need to ask your employer. Only your employer can give you this information.

    For JobKeeper fortnights ending before 28 September 2020, the JobKeeper amount was $1,500.

    From 28 September 2020, there were two payment rates for the JobKeeper payment. The payment rates reduced from 4 January 2021.

    If you’re an employee who has received JobKeeper payments, they will be included in your income statement or payment summary as either salary and wages or as an allowance, depending on your circumstances.

    We treat your JobKeeper payments the same as your usual payments from your employer. This means:

    • we will pre-fill your return with available income statement or payment summary information reported to us by your employer
    • you must check them and add any payments from your employer you received that have not pre-filled
    • you pay tax on them at your normal marginal tax rate.

    To learn more about showing these payments in your myTax return, see Salary, wages, allowances, tips, bonuses.

    JobKeeper wage subsidy

    If you’re a sole trader who has received JobKeeper wage subsidy payments as an eligible business participant, these payments are assessable income. This means:

    • we will pre-fill (as information only) your JobKeeper wage subsidy amounts
    • you must check it and show the amount you received (and haven’t repaid or are repaying) in Assessable government industry payments as Net non-primary production or Net primary production.

    To learn more about showing these payments in your myTax return, see Assessable government industry payments in Net income or loss from business.

    To learn more, see:

    Tax on employment payments

    If you took leave, were stood down or lost your job because of COVID-19, there are different tax consequences for payments you may have received from your employer.

    Leave or temporary stand down

    If you took leave or were temporarily stood down, your employer may have paid you regular payments or made a one-off payment. To learn more, see Leave or temporary stand down.

    We treat them the same as your usual payments from your employer. This means:

    • we will pre-fill your return with available information reported to us by your employer
    • you must check them and add any payments from your employer you received that have not pre-filled
    • you pay tax on them at your normal marginal tax rate.

    This treatment applies regardless of whether the payments are funded by the JobKeeper Payment scheme.

    To learn more about showing these payments in your myTax return, see Salary, wages, allowances, tips, bonuses.

    If your employment has been terminated

    If your employment was terminated, you may receive payments from your employer. The tax rate depends on the type of the payment.

    To learn more, see:

    See also:

    We will pre-fill your return with available information reported to us by your employer. Check them and add any payments you received that have not pre-filled.

    To learn more about showing:

    Services Australia payments

    You may have received additional financial help from Services Australia due to COVID-19.

    Pandemic leave disaster payment

    You may have received a Pandemic leave disaster paymentExternal Link. These payments are taxable.

    You need to manually enter any pandemic leave disaster payment you received at Australian Government special payments.

    You will receive advice from Services Australia confirming the amount you received during the income year.

    To learn more about showing this payment in your myTax return, see Australian Government special payments.

    See also:

    COVID-19 Disaster Payment

    You may have received a COVID-19 Disaster PaymentExternal Link. As a result of a law change, this payment is not subject to income tax.

    You don't need to include this payment as income in your tax return.

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    Economic Support Payment

    You may have received an Economic Support PaymentExternal Link. These payments are not taxable. You don't need to include this payment as income in your tax return.

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    Coronavirus Supplement

    You may have received a Coronavirus SupplementExternal Link. These payments are taxable, and we treat them the same as your usual income support payments from Services Australia. This means:

    • we will pre-fill your return with available information reported to us by Services Australia
    • you must check them and add any taxable payments from Services Australia you received that have not pre-filled
    • in myTax, the Taxable amount field should include the total of your income support payment plus the Coronavirus Supplement
    • you may be entitled to a tax offset on this income. Tax offsets reduce the amount of tax you have to pay.

    To learn more about showing these payments in your myTax return, see:

    COVID-19 and residential rental properties

    Due to COVID-19, some circumstances may affect tax outcomes for residential rental properties, including:

    • when tenants can't pay
    • back-paid rent
    • insurance from lost income
    • reduced demand for your short-term rental accommodation.

    To learn more, see Residential rental property.

    To learn more about showing rental income and expenses in your myTax return, see Rent.

    Support for eligible businesses

    JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme

    The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme is an incentive for businesses to employ additional young job seekers aged 16–35 years.

    Eligible employers can access the JobMaker Hiring Credit for each eligible additional employee they hire between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021.

    See also:

    Changes to depreciation incentives

    In 2020 the government introduced measures to help businesses recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). There have been a number of changes made to how you can depreciate assets. Eligible business entities may be looking at which tax depreciation incentive is right for them.

    Only one incentive can apply for an asset. If more than one incentive could apply to an asset the order of application is (subject to opt out choices):

    See also:

      Last modified: 11 Aug 2021QC 65718