At-home workers risk missing out on cash bonus
Australians working from home during COVID-19 are buying extra work-related items but many don't realise they can claim a tax deduction for them.
More than one-third of employees have been working from home in recent months, new research from Officeworks has found, and they're mainly spending money on technology such as new laptops and second monitors, and on home office furniture and supplies.
Half have made extra purchases, but more than one in five do not understand that these items can be tax-deductible, the survey of 1000 people found.
Now is the time to spend up on work-related items and then make sure it's included in your tax return once tax time starts next month.
H & R Block director of tax communications Mark Chapman said many people didn't realise things such as utility bills, phone and internet charges, cleaning costs and depreciation of IT equipment and furniture were tax deductible.
"If the cost is less than $300 per item you can write off that straight away without having to depreciate it," he said.
"You will be using a lot more home internet if you are working from home seven or eight hours a day."
Costs for working from home should be apportioned between work and private use, with only the work component deductible, and workers can find occupation-specific guides for 36 industries on ato.gov.au.
Officeworks national merchandise manager Jim Berndelis said sales of technology and home office products were up and, as people spent more time working from home, consumables such as ink and toner were in greater demand.
"Working from home is a new way of working for many Australians, so many may have never had to purchase and claim any work-related expenses before," he said.
Mr Berndelis said there were great free resources online to help people understand tax deductions.
"Jump onto myGov or the ATO website for various tools, calculators, guides and videos to help you get your head around what you could claim," he said.
TAX BREAK BUYING
Popular purchases include:
• Home printers
• Extra monitors
• Sit-stand desks
• Laptops and tablets
• Digital storage
Originally published as At-home workers risk missing out