Top 4 no-go expenses if making WFH claims this year

The ATO has issued another tax-related reminder for those working from the kitchen bench, outlining scenarios that do not qualify for the temporary shortcut method.

The ATO has outlined that even though people are shifting back to the office, many are opting to continue working from home at least one day a week, meaning they can still use the shortcut method to claim those working-from-home deductions.

The working-from-home shortcut method allows claims at the all-inclusive rate of 80 cents per hour, rather than needing to do complex calculations for specific items. It is also “all-inclusive”, meaning taxpayers can’t claim the shortcut and then claim for individual expenses such as telephone and internet costs and the decline in value of new office furniture or a laptop.

“The shortcut method is straightforward; just multiply the hours worked at home by 80 cents,” assistant commissioner Tim Loh said.

“The only proof you need is a record of the number of hours you’ve worked from home, such as a timesheet.”

Taxpayers are, however, being reminded that they can still claim under the existing arrangements if they choose.

“If you decide to go with an existing method, I would encourage you to do your research and keep good records. Keeping track of each individual expense and calculating the work-related use of each one can be fiddly, so be organised. So, make sure you’ve read the guidance on our website or chat to your registered tax agent,” Mr Loh said.

Top 4 no-go expenses

Expenses that are still a no-go for taxpayers include:

  • Personal expenses like coffee, tea and toilet paper. While they might normally be supplied by your employer, they still aren’t directly related to earning your income.
  • Expenses related to your child’s education, such as online learning courses or laptops.
  • Large expenses upfront. Any asset that costs over $300 (either in total or per item), such as a computer, can’t be claimed immediately. Instead, these claims should be spread out over a number of years.
  • Employees generally can’t claim occupancy expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, property insurance, land taxes and rates. Working from home does not mean your home is a place of business for tax purposes. If you claim occupancy expenses, you may have to pay capital gains tax when you sell your home, even if it is your main residence.


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Article by Maja Garaca Djurdjevic on

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