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Tax Time 2020

Tax Time 2020

2019-20 has been an unusual year. This year, more than ever, we want to ensure that we help you achieve the best result possible, as well as reducing your tax exposure and minimising the risk of an audit by the regulators.

Here’s some of the big changes to bear in mind in collating your 2020 year tax information:

Working from home? What you can claim

From 1 March to 30 September 2020, special arrangements are in place to make it easier for individuals to claim expenses they have incurred while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

If you have incurred work-related expenses and you have not been reimbursed by your employer, you can claim these expenses at a rate of 80 cents for each hour you work. To use this method, you will need a record of the hours you have worked, such as a diary or timesheet.

 

The claim covers all of your additional running expenses such as:

  • Electricity and gas
  • Decline in value and repair of capital items such as office furniture
  • Cleaning expenses
  • Phone and internet expenses
  • Stationery
  • Decline in value of computers and devices


For example, if you worked from home for 7 hours a day on the weekdays between 1 March and 30 June 2020, that’s 84 working days (in QLD) or 588 hours. Using the 80 cents COVID-hourly rate, you could claim $470.40. The rate covers all of your expenses and you cannot claim individual items separately, such as office furniture or a computer.

 

The COVID-hourly rate can be claimed per individual (it is not limited by household). That is, if you have multiple people working from home in your household, each person can claim the 80 cents per hour rate for the hours they have worked from home.

 

Using the COVID-hourly rate is optional and aimed at people who do not normally work from home. For some, their actual expenses will be higher, such as those with a dedicated home office, or for those that normally operate their business from home. In these circumstances the normal rules will apply.


Single touch payroll

Where payments to employees have been reported to the ATO through single touch payroll, a finalisation declaration generally needs to be made by 14 July 2020 for employers with 20 or more employees, or 31 July 2020 for those with 19 or fewer employees.

 

Payment summaries do not have to be provided to employees. Instead, employees will be able to access their Income Statement through myGov or via their tax agent.