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Tech & Science Explainer: Track your home work expenses for tax time

16:00  01 april  2020
16:00  01 april  2020 Source:   lifehacker.com.au

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Working from home is likely going to add unforeseen expenses to the bills — electricity and potentially, internet — as well as other Thankfully, you can claim some of these expenses back but it'll depend on your situation. See the ATO actually differentiates what you'll get based on whether you

Explainer : Track your home work expenses for tax time . Things to do for your business during the lockdown. More than 3.4 million people to be unemployed in US. Woodside in talks over .2b Senegal oil project timing . Yves Saint Laurent to make surgical masks.

Image: Getty Images © Getty Image: Getty Images Now that a lot of us are working from home to curb the spread of coronavirus, the bills our workplaces would usually cover are now being deferred to us.

That means internet, phone charges, electricity and anything else. This is a reminder to write it all down because you should be able to get a lot of it back during tax time.

Working from home is likely going to add unforeseen expenses to the bills — electricity and potentially, internet — as well as other costs you might not have realised. Thankfully, you can claim some of these expenses back but it'll depend on your situation.

See the ATO actually differentiates what you'll get based on whether you usually work from home and have a dedicated workspace, don't usually work from home but have a dedicated space or if you primarily work in an office but are working from home for a period of time and using your lounge room or bedroom to set up.

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Explainer : Track your home work expenses for tax time . Things to do for your business during the lockdown. More than 3.4 million people to be unemployed in US. Woodside in talks over .2b Senegal oil project timing . Yves Saint Laurent to make surgical masks.

Track your refund. Print your return. Check your e-file status. Principal place of business: Your home office must be either the principal location of that business, or a place where you Tax Tips for Employees who Work at Home . What is IRS Form 8829: Expenses for Business Use of Your Home .

The latter two will likely apply to most of us being told to stay away from the office for the foreseeable future. Here's what the ATO says you can claim:

a screenshot of a cell phone: What you can and can't claim when working from home depending on your setup. Image: ATO © Supplied What you can and can't claim when working from home depending on your setup. Image: ATO For those of us working from the couch or kitchen table, this means you can't claim running expenses, such as heating, cooling and lighting. It's possible the ATO will make some adjustments to the rules in light of the coronavirus outbreak so watch this space.

How to calculate working from home expenses

The ATO recommends you keep at least four weeks of records for any cost you're intending to claim. For example, most of us are probably eyeing our internet bills and it's not too difficult to calculate it.

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Tracking your expenses on a regular basis can help you get an accurate picture of where your money is Estimate your home value First- time homebuyer tips Homebuying: what to expect FHA loans Get the As you track , be ready to make adjustments. It’s worth your time to keep tabs on your monthly

Work -space-in-the- home expenses . Note: Line 22900 was line 229 before tax year 2019. You can deduct expenses you paid in 2019 for the employment use of a work space in your home , as long as you meet one of the The work space is where you mainly (more than 50% of the time ) do your work .

"You need to determine your percentage of work use over a four-week representative period that you can then apply to the full year," the ATO says.

Home work. © Getty Home work. A simple equation could be: you work eight hours a day, five days a week. That's 40 hours dedicated to work. Before and after work, you use the internet for personal use for around five hours a day. Multiply that by the seven days of the week and you've 35 hours of non-work use weekly.

That means work is taking up around 53 per cent (40/75 hours) of your internet usage and on a $80 a month plan, that would be $42.40 per month. Multiply that by 12 months, or the number you've been working from home for, and you'll get a number you can legitimately claim.

The same can be done for phone charges, electricity (though this depends on your setup situation) as well as the depreciation of items you're using while working from home. For specifics on how to calculate those totals, visit the ATO's website or speak to a tax professional.

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Work -space-in-the- home expenses . Note: Line 22900 was line 229 before tax year 2019. To calculate the percentage of work -space-in-the- home expenses you can deduct, use a reasonable basis, such as the area of the work space divided by the total finished area (including hallways

Track self-employed business expenses with the QuickBooks Self-Employed mobile app. Easily track expenses from your mobile device with the QuickBooks Self-Emplyed app. Expenses are auto-sorted into tax categories year-round so that you can easily file them for deductions at tax time .

The records, per the ATO, could be:

  • a diary you have created to work out how much you used your equipment, home office and phone for business purposes over a representative four-week period
  • receipts or other written evidence, including for depreciating assets you have purchased
  • diary entries to record your small expenses ($10 or less) totalling no more than $200, or expenses you can't get any kind of evidence for
  • itemised phone accounts from where you can identify work-related calls, or other records, such as diary entries if you don't get an itemised bill.

Either way, now's not the time to be apathetic about jotting down your expenses. It could lead to a decent tax payout and that's something a lot of us could use right now.

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