ATO extends simplified working from home deductions

The ATO has extended its temporary arrangements to enable employees to use a simplified method of calculating deduction for working from home.


  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • October 02, 2020

Employees working from home as a result of the COVID pandemic can continue to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour by keeping a record of the number of hours they have worked from home rather than needing to calculate specific running expenses, until 31 December 2020.

The shortcut was originally extended for an extra three months from the end of the 2019-20 financial year to 30 September.

Commenting on the extension, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said it is making it easier for many Australians who are continuing to work from home due to COVID-19 when it comes to accurately completing their tax return.

“The Morrison government has welcomed the further extension of the temporary arrangements put in place by the Australian Tax Office to make it easier for Australians to claim deductions for working from home due to COVID-19,” said Mr Sukkar.

These continuing arrangements do not prohibit Australians from making a standard working from home claim using the two standard approaches should they wish to do so.

The ATO clarified that all employees working from home between 1 March and 31 December 2020 can use the shortcut method to calculate their deductions if they:

  • are working from home to fulfil their employment duties, not just carrying out minimal tasks such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls; and
  • have incurred additional running expenses as a result of working from home.

The shortcut method can cover all work-from-home expenses, including:

  • phone expenses;
  • internet expenses;
  • the decline in value of equipment and furniture; and
  • electricity and gas for heating, cooling and lighting.

But the method can only be used between 1 March and 30 June 2020 in the 2019–20 income year, as well as 1 July and 31 December 2020 in the 2020-21 income year.

If you wish to discuss, do not hesitate to contact the office.