What's the new way to claim working-from-home expenses for FY2020?

Because so many Australians have been forced to work from home due to COVID-19, the ATO has introduced an easy shortcut method for claiming household running expenses this financial year. All Australians working from home due to coronavirus will be able to claim 80 cents per working hour for all their running costs, for the hours worked at home between 1 March and 30 June 2020. If the office closures and lock down extends into the new financial year after June 30 (which is very likely), the ATO has said it will look to extend this shortcut method for another few months.

If you were already working from home prior to 1 March 2020, you can claim your home office and running expenses using the existing method for hours worked before this date.

To be eligible to claim your home office running expenses using the new 80 cents per hour shortcut method you need to:

  • Be working from home due to coronavirus (if you're still going to your workplace each day, you can't can't claim these home running costs)
  • Have incurred the expense yourself without being reimbursed the cost by your employer
  • Have a record of your hours spent working from home (payslips, rosters, time sheets or diary logs)

You don't need to have a dedicated work area in your home to be eligible to claim using this method.