Tax time made easier with these tips

It’s been an interesting financial year with the global pandemic transforming the way a lot of us work. With many of us now working from home, there’s even more to consider when it comes to putting in your tax return. Don’t know where to start? We’ve put together a general guide to help kick start your return.

Work out what you can claim

The ATO announced changes to deductions for those working from home. If this is you, you may now be able to claim additional expenses from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021

  • Energy Expenses

    Working from home has meant that many of us are using more electricity to run multiple devices. The good news is that you may be able to claim a greater portion of your energy expenses (both electricity and gas), including heating, cooling and lighting. If you’re an Origin customer, you can download your bills and account statements via My Account or through the Origin app. Check out our tax time help & support page to learn how.

  • Phone and internet

    Keep a record of your hours, they’ll come in handy as you may be able to claim both internet and phone based on the hours you’ve been at work.

  • Cleaning costs

    Remember to keep your receipts handy. This year you may be able to claim the costs for cleaning your dedicated workspace.

  • Home office equipment, computer consumables and stationery

    Think about all the things you use to get your job done; this can include items like office furniture such as a desk, chair and lamps to office technology which includes computers, printers, and consumables like ink, paper and stationary.  

Our tips are intended to be general in nature. We recommend you keep a record of all your receipts and working hours as evidence, and that you seek expert advice from a tax professional before you claim.

For more information on what you can and can’t claim check the ATO website and for businesses check out ATO website for business.

What are my options when lodging a claim?

Knowing what you can claim is the first step. Knowing how you can claim is the next big step to tackle. There are a few ways you can arrange it:

  • Lodge your tax return through the ATO

    Lodge online via the myTax portal. If online isn’t your jam, a paper tax form is another option.

  • Use an online tax accountant

    A quick Google search will present you with an array of accountants to choose from. If you’re not sure how to find the right accountant for you, comparison sites like Canstar Blue have compared tax agents based on criteria like ease of application to value for money.

  • Book an appointment with your local registered tax agent

    If you prefer to do things face-to-face, meet with a registered tax agent who’ll prepare and lodge a tax return on your behalf.

Talk to the experts

Still not quite sure where to start? That’s okay, you can always talk to the experts and get the help you need to make the process as easy as possible. Speak to the ATO, or your registered tax agent to help get you on your way.

Wishing you a happy 2021 tax time.

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