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Home Office Deductions In 2024

In situations where taxpayers perform some of their work duties from home they may be entitled to claim a deduction for home office expenses incurred. 

The ATO previously allowed a deduction of $0.52 per hour for the time spent working from home and you could claim the work related use of your mobile and internet separately, however, this has now been combined in a new $0.67 per work related hour.

 

This claim is now designed to cover the cost of more household expenses which taxpayers could previously claim separately. Other expenses such as the purchase of a new laptop, phone or filing cabinets etc can all be claimed separately.

What Is The New Working From Home Deduction?

For the 2024 financial year the ATO has kept the fixed rate method at $0.67 per hour. To be eligible to claim the fixed rate method you have to:

  • incur additional running costs because you are working from home

  • keep a record of the total number of hours you work from home

  • have a record of the expenses you incur while working from home

  • keep records for expenses that the new fixed rate method doesn't include and be able to show the work related portion of these expenses

The new fixed rate can be claimed for each hour you work from home during the financial year. The rate includes the following additional running expenses you may incur:

  • mobile and home internet or data expenses

  • mobile and home phone usage expenses

  • stationery and computer consumables

  • electricity and gas

If you are using this method you cannot claim an additional separate deduction for the expenses above.

What Else Can I Claim If I Use The Fixed Rate Method?

A separate deduction can be claimed for expenses incurred when you are working from home that are not included in the fixed rate method. Depreciation of any technology and office furniture such as, desks, chairs, computers and filing cabinets, can be claimed separately to the fixed rate method. You can also claim the repairs and maintenance for these items. 

If any of these items cost $300 or less then an immediate deduction can be claimed. If these items are more than $300 you can claim depreciation on them over their effective life.

Can I Claim The Actual Cost Method?

To be eligible to claim the actual cost method you must:

  • have a dedicated work space that is not used by other members of your family

  • incur additional running costs because you are working from home

  • keep detailed records or other written evidence to substantiate your claims, which shows the amount:

    • you spend on running expenses in total​

    • you spend on depreciating assets you buy and use while working from home

    • of work-related use for your expenses and depreciating assets

If you have other family members from the same household, who are not working from home, you cannot claim additional running expenses as a result of them utilising in the same room as you.

Can I Claim the 80 Cent Per Hour For Working From Home?

The ATO has implemented a special working from home tax deduction in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This method is known as the shortcut method and is designed to cater for the additional expenses incurred during the restriction period, without the usually required detailed record keeping.

From 1 March 2020, taxpayers can choose to claim a rate of $0.80 cents per work hour for work undertaken at home, instead of the standard $0.52 per hour outlined above.

However, it is important to note that this higher rate represents the complete home office claim. It is not just for heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and the decline in value of office furniture, but also all other home office work related expenses, including phone and internet expenses, computer consumables and stationery.

As with all claims, the taxpayers must have spent the money themselves and not have been reimbursed. The claim must be directly related to earning income, and there must be a record of hours worked at home during this period to substantiate the claim.

Claims for working from home expenses prior to 1 March 2020 cannot be calculated using the shortcut method, and must use the pre-existing working from home approach and requirements.

Unfortunately 2022 is the final year to claim the shortcut method.

LAST UPDATED: 25/12/2023

Can I Claim My Rent, Mortgage Or Other Occupancy Expenses?

Generally, expenses associated with your home are private or domestic in nature and do not qualify as tax deductions. An exception to this general rule is where part of the home is used for income producing activities and has the character of a ‘place of business.’ 

In these cases some of the occupancy expenses incurred for the home (rent, mortgage interest, water rates, land taxes and house insurance) may be apportioned and tax deductible.

The ATO have a criteria as to when an area set has has the character of a ‘place of business’:

  • The area is clearly identifiable as a place of business

  • The area is not readily suitable or adaptable for use for private or domestic purposes in association with the home generally

  • The area is used exclusively, or almost exclusively, for carrying on a business, or

  • The area is used regularly for client or customer visits.

An example is a salesperson in the country whose city-based employer does not provide an office for them.

If you are not running a business from home, claiming occupancy expenses can be harder to substantiate. To claim occupancy expenses when you are employed and work from home you have to be able to show that:

  • you have to work from home because your employer doesn't provide you with an alternative place to work from

  • you have a dedicated area in your home that is mostly used for work related activities, which cannot be easily repurposed for other non-work activities.

Occupancy expenses include the following:

  • mortgage interest

  • rent

  • council and water rates

  • land taxes

  • house insurance premiums

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