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  • Tax Time Toolkit – Real estate

    This Tax Time Toolkit for the real estate industry contains practical and tailored information to help those in the industry understand what they can and can’t claim in their tax return.

    You can download a copy in portable document format, see Tax Time Toolkit - Real Estate (PDF, 663kB)This link will download a file.

    We encourage you to share this information with your staff, clients, members and networks.

    You’ll find tips and guides as well as ‘ready to use’ messages you can adapt for your own communication channels.

    In this guide:

    Occupation guides

    Helpful occupation guides and information for tax time:

    Common claims

    Common deductions those in the real estate industry claim:

    Ready-to-use Tax Time messages

    Below are a range of messages you can use (or adapt) for your own communication channels, such as websites, intranets, newsletters and social media platforms.

    Example: Article suggestion

    Headline: Selling for success at tax time

    It may not always be clear for real estate agents what can and can’t claim at tax time, especially when it comes to working from home.

    If you work from home, you may be able to claim a deduction for the additional running expenses you incur.

    There are three methods to calculate working from home expenses. The method you use will depend on your circumstances (you must meet the recording keeping requirements and criteria to use each method). The methods available are:

    • Shortcut method – an all-inclusive rate of 80 cents per work hour, available for use between 1 March to 30 June 2020 in the 2019–20 income year and 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 in the 2021–21 income year.
    • Fixed rate method – 52 cents per work hour (instead of recording all your actual expenses for heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and the depreciation of your furniture). You need to separately work out your phone and internet, computer consumables, stationery and computer depreciation expenses.
    • Actual cost method – the actual work-related portion of all your running expenses, which you need to calculate on a reasonable basis.

    You generally can’t claim occupancy expenses, such as rent, rates, mortgage interest and home insurance premiums, unless your home office is considered to be a ‘place of business’. This occurs where your home office is both:

    • your principal place of work because no other work location is provided by your employer
    • exclusively or almost exclusively used for work purposes.

    You are not considered to be carrying on a business if your only income is paid to you as a real estate employee.

    Employees who work at home can’t claim costs:

    • for coffee, tea, milk and other general household items your employer may provide you at work
    • for the decline in value of items provided by your employer - for example, a laptop or a phone
    • your employer pays for or where your employer reimburses you for the expense.

    Check out the common expenses real estate agents can claim at

    End of example

    Suggested social media posts for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles

    Example: social media

    Using your car for work purposes? The ATO’s real estate agent occupation guide can help you understand what you can claim at tax time, visit

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    Example: social media

    The ATO is here to support you this tax time. Check out the ATO’s tailored occupation guide for real estate agents at to make tax time stress free.

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    Example: social media

    Let the ATO do the hard yards for you. Check out their tailored work-related expenses guide for real estate professionals, to understand what you can claim this tax time at

    End of example


    Example: social media

    The myDeductions tool in the ATO app has a logbook feature, that takes the hard work out of calculating your work-related car expenses and maintaining your records. Check out

    End of example

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      Last modified: 06 Apr 2021QC 59366