What to claim when working from home

If you have a micro business and work from home here are a few tax deductions you may not have thought about before. Make sure you take a look and claim what is appropriate in your tax return. Here are our top 5:

1. Home running expenses


When running a business from home (or if you work from home on a regular basis) then there are some running costs that you can claim. Just like if you were in an office you could claim the electricity, gas, and internet.  While you can’t claim the entire bill, you can claim it for the portion of the house in which you are working.

The ATO even have a calculator to help you work out the costs here

2. Travel


Even if you work from home there are times in which you will need to travel for work, whether it be to meet client, pick up office stationary or attend training. These travel expenses can be claimed. You can claim your petrol, but there are also other expenses such as tolls that people sometimes forget to claim.

There are two methods for claiming car deductions. First, you can claim for each kilometre. For this method you will need to keep a diary of your trips and the kilometres that you travelled. The amount that you can claim per kilometre changes each financial year. For 2017-18 year the amount is 66 cents per kilometre capped at 5000 kms. For the 2018-19 year this rate is being increased to 68 cents per kilometre.

The second method is a logbook. You can claim based on the business use percentage of the car. You will need to complete a log book for a continuous 12 week period to determine what is the business versus personal usage. After this you can claim that percentage of fuel, oil and other running costs of the vehicle.

3. Office furniture


If you have a dedicated workspace such as a desk or room that you use as an office then you can claim the depreciation of office furniture. This includes your desk, chair, computers and other office related furniture.

4. Stationary


Don’t forget to claim your stationary such as note pads, pens, envelopes, printing paper and printer cartridges and ink. These consumables all add up and are true costs of running a business from home.

5. 20k instant write off


You might be able to advantage of the instant $20k write off  if the government extends for another year. This allows you to write off purchases up to $20k that are for business equipment. Rather than depreciate it over a period you can claim the full amount in your tax return, bringing down your overall tax liability. You can claim anything from office furniture, computers, equipment, machinery and tools and even a car (as long as it is under $20k).