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Home office expenses Running cost and Occupancy expenses

Individual Tax Return Basics:

Home office expenses Running cost and Occupancy expenses

You may be entitled to claim deductions for home office expenses:

  • Running costs may be deductible.
  • Occupancy expenses are generally not deductible for an employee.
  • You must keep records.

Running costs

Home office Running cost

If you perform some of your work from a home office, you may be entitled to a deduction for the costs you incur in running it, including:

  • for home office equipment, such as computers, printers and telephones, the cost (for items costing up to $300) or decline in value (for items costing $300 or more).
  • work-related phone calls (including mobiles) and phone rental (a portion reflecting the share of work-related use of the line) if you can show you
    – are on call, or
    – have to phone your employer or clients regularly while you are away from your workplace
  • heating, cooling and lighting
  • the costs of repairs to your home office furniture and fittings
  • cleaning expenses.

Occupancy expenses

As an employee, you are generally not able to claim a deduction for occupancy expenses, which include rent or mortgage interest, council rates, and house insurance premiums.

Please click on the link for the Home office expenses calculator: Home office expenses calculator

Records you must keep

You must keep records of home expenses – these can be:

  • receipts or other written evidence of your expenses, including receipts for depreciating assets you have purchased
  • diary entries you make to record your small expenses ($10 or less) totalling no more than $200, or expenses you cannot get any kind of evidence for, regardless of the amount
  • itemised phone accounts from which you can identify work-related calls, or other records, such as diary entries (if you do not get an itemised account from your phone company)
  • a diary you have created to work out how much you used your equipment, home office and phone for business purposes over a representative four-week period.

Source: The Australian Tax Office

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