Tax time 2020: ATO flags work-related hotspots

Work related tax hotspots

The ATO is bracing for a substantially different tax time this year, due to flow-on effects from COVID-19 restrictions on work-related expenses claims, and has announced a number of hotspots that it will pay close attention to this year.

They expect a reduction in claims for work-related expenses, and an increase in working from home claims for the last quarter. Specifically, they have flagged:

  • Laundry expenses – not wearing a uniform to work means you can’t claim as much for laundry.
  • Travel expenses – driving less means you can’t claim as much for travel.
  • Expenses for protective items required for work – expected to increase, but will be scrutinised.
  • Working from home deductions – A new shortcut method has been introduced to calculate home office expenses at a rate of 80 cents per hour for the period between 1 March and 30 June 2020. The new method is in addition to the existing fixed-rate method and actual cost method, and it pays to spend a bit of time working out which method is best for you, or to seek the advice of a tax agent if you’re not sure.

As always, it’s still important to meet the three golden rules:

You must have spent the money and not have been reimbursed, it must relate directly to earning your income, and you must have a record to prove it.

At GAT we give advice to help you properly understand what you can and can’t claim, and we claim ALL allowable deductions to ensure you meet the ATO guidelines AND get the maximum possible benefits on your tax return.

Source: Accountants Daily Live: Tax time 2020: ATO flags work-related hotspots, 12 June 2020

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