Work from home could cost more for Australian workers
Employees who work from home could be worse off than their office-going counterparts if new guidelines by the Australian Tax Office are implemented.
Under the proposed changes, people who work from home have two options for claiming their working expenses incurred, which include internet, electricity and mobile bill costs.
They can either claim the full amount of expenses incurred through a more cumbersome process that requires more meticulous paperwork, or claim the 67 cents flat-rate shortcut, which would mean forgoing individual claims.
“The new fixed rate includes costs such as mobile phones and stationery – meaning that many taxpayers could lose out,” according to Mark Chapman, Director of Tax Communications at tax preparation company H&R Block, reported The Guardian.
“After all, if you use your mobile phone extensively for work – both at home and when you’re out and about – you could potentially claim several hundred dollars just in mobile phone bills,” he explained.
“If you use the fixed rate method, you’ll lose this opportunity. But if you don’t use the fixed rate method, you’ll be forced to claim actual costs for other working from home expenses (such as electricity and gas), which means that you need to keep lots of paperwork such as receipts/invoices,” Chapman said.