As Australia moves into a new financial year, we take a look at what COVID-19 can mean for your personal tax return.
For many in the industry, the COVID-19 outbreak has meant JobKeeper payments, working from home, and navigating new ways of collaborating with colleagues and clients. These adjustments in the way we work, also mean changes to what most of us can claim as personal deductions in this year’s tax return.
COVID-19 Tax Changes
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has provided a handy COVID-19 support guide for businesses and employees to navigate tax return time. And, with the majority of us working from home for the first time, they have introduced a short cut method for claiming personal deductions. This method allows those working from home to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for all running expenses.
How do I know how many hours I worked from home?
Remember those pesky timesheets you have to do every day? Well, your agency management system should allow you to run a timesheet report by date range. This report can be a good starting point for working out how many hours you worked from home. See, timesheets aren’t all that bad, they can come in handy.
What can I claim?
In addition to the ATO’s employees working from home guide, SmartCompany has a helpful article on what you can claim, the evidence you need to provide, and common mistakes of lodging a personal tax return.
“One of the most common mistakes is claiming expenses employers had already reimbursed.”From SmartCompany’s “Working from home? Here’s what you can claim in your tax return“
Can I claim a larger refund?
Maybe. It all depends on your individual circumstances. This tax tips article from The New Daily makes suggestions on ways you can maximise your refund. But remember, these would need to be made prior to 30 June 2020 to be eligible for your 19/20 tax return.
- making additional personal contributions to your super
- charitable gifts or donations
- work related expenses, such as travel & courses that have not been covered by your employer
“If the number of hours dropped during the lockdown through reduced hours or joblessness, workers could be entitled to a larger refund.”From The New Daily’s “Tax tips: How the coronavirus can help you get a larger refund“
Before lodging your personal tax return it’s important to do your research, and understand what you can and can’t claim. While we all love a refund, it’s better to claim responsibly or consult an Accountant if unsure.