If you work from home, whether in hybrid arrangements or exclusively, you have the right to claim working-from-home expenses when filing your tax return. This covers a range of essentials such as stationery, energy costs, office equipment, and more.
Eligibility to claim
To be eligible for claiming expenses related to working from home, you need to consider these points:
- Your work from home should involve significant tasks related to your job, not just minor things like checking emails occasionally or taking quick calls.
- If your work setup at home leads to extra costs, like higher electricity bills or increased internet usage, you can ask for reimbursement to cover those additional expenses.
- It's important to keep proper records and documents that prove the expenses you're claiming. This might include bills or receipts that show the extra costs you've incurred due to working from home.
When you have costs for things that you use for both personal and work reasons, you have to figure out how much of it is for work. You can only ask for a deduction on the part that's related to your job.
Additional running expenses
Running expenses are about the things you use at home, like electricity and internet. Normally, these are just regular household costs. But if you're working from home and these costs go up, you can ask for some of that extra money back.
These extra costs might include things like:
- electricity or gas (energy expenses) for heating or cooling and lighting
- home and mobile internet or data expenses
- mobile and home phone expenses
- stationery and office supplies
- the decline in value of depreciating assets you use for work – for example:
- office furniture such as chairs and desks
- equipment such as computers, laptops and software
- the repairs and maintenance to depreciating assets
In special cases, if you have a dedicated home office, you might also get some money back for things like rent or cleaning.
And if your employer pays you an allowance to help with these work-from-home costs, you must include it as income in your tax return.
Choosing a method to calculate your claim
From 1 July 2022 there are 2 methods available to calculate your claim:
1. Revised fixed rate method:
- an amount per work hour for additional running expenses
- separate amount for expenses not covered by the revised fixed rate, such as the decline in value of depreciating assets
- you no longer need a dedicated home office.
You can claim 67c for each hour you work from home during the relevant income year.
2. Actual cost method
- the actual expenses you incur as a result of working from home.
You must keep records to show you incur expenses as a result of working from home. The type of records you need to keep will depend on the method you choose to calculate your expenses.
Expenses you can't claim
You can't claim a deduction for:
- coffee, tea, milk and other general household items, even if your employer may provide these at work
- costs that relate to your children's education, such as equipment you buy – for example, iPads and desks, subscriptions for online learning
- items your employer provides – for example, a laptop or a mobile phone
- expenses where your employer reimburses you for the cost.