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What are the new tax rules due to COVID-19

Working from home:

The ATO has introduced a straight-forward shortcut method to calculate Home Office Expense during the period from 1 March to 30 June 2020.  Using this shortcut, you can claim 80 cents per hour for all relevant running expenses incurred when working from home.

It is important to note that if you choose this method, you are NOT allowed to claim other further work from home deduction for any of the expenses.

The only record that you have to keep for this method is a timesheet for the number of hours that you have worked from home. If you are using this method, you must include the note “COVID-hourly rate” for this deduction in your Tax Return.

(You can still use the old method to calculate and claim your work from home expenses if you prefer to do so)

Reduce claim in travel and laundry expenses:

ATO is expecting claims for travel and laundry expenses to decline in this 2020 tax return as most of you may work from home during COVID-19 lockdown.

It is important to be mindful about it before claiming any of these deductions.

JobKeeper and JobSeeker payment:  

JobKeeper Payment will need to be included as a salary and wages in your tax return. As an employee, you don’t have to do anything. Your employers will file this information directly to the ATO and it will automatically be applied to your tax return.

Also, JobSeeker payment (Coronavirus Supplement of $550 payment fortnightly) will be automatically applied to your tax return as well. As a receiver, you don’t have to do anything.

COVID-19 early release of Superannuation

The special early superannuation access due to COVID-19 that you have withdrawn is tax-free and you don’t have to declare this in your tax return.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us at [email protected]