Tax time made easier with these tips

Looking to get some cash back in your pocket at tax time?

With many people working from home, there’s even more to consider when it comes to putting in a return. 

It’s been an interesting year, the global pandemic has brought many changes to the way we work.

For those with a home office, that can mean there’s more to claim. Don’t know where to start? We’ve put together a general guide to kick start your claim.

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 March to 30 June, 2020.

  • Electricity 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 electricity expenses, including heating, cooling and lighting. If you’re an Origin customer, you can download your bills using the Origin MyAccount. Check out our tax time help & support page to learn how.
  • Phone and internet – Keep a record of your hours, they will 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.  

We recommend you keep a record of all your receipts and working hours as evidence. Our tips are intended to be general in nature. We recommend 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 complete your tax return for 2020

  • Lodge your tax return through the ATO – Using the online myTAX portal if online isn’t your preference a paper tax form can still be submitted
  • Use an online tax accountant – Do a quick google search and you can see there are many to choose from. Comparison sites such as Canstar Blue have compared tax agents to help you decide, based on criteria like ease of application to value for money.
  • Book an appointment with your local registered tax agent – Met with them in person, and have a registered tax agent prepare and loge a tax return on your behalf.

Talk to the experts

Still not sure where to start? That’s ok 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 started.

Wishing you all a happy 2020 tax time

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