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No More Shortcuts: The Methods You Can Use To Claim WFH Expenses

Ensure you’re up to date on how to claim your working-from-home expenses!

As the business landscape shifts back and forth between office, hybrid and home-based work opportunities, it’s important to remember what methods are available to you when it comes to claiming. If part of your role allows you to work from home, you may be able to claim certain expenses on your tax return this year using one of the following methods.

The Revised Fixed Rate Method:

Under the revised fixed rate method, individuals can claim 67 cents per hour worked from home during the relevant income year. This rate includes additional running expenses, such as home and mobile internet or data, phone usage, and electricity and gas for heating, cooling, and lighting. Importantly, using this method, you cannot claim separate deductions for these expenses.

To use this method, taxpayers must maintain records of the total number of hours worked from home and the expenses incurred while working at home. Additionally, they must keep records of expenses not covered by the fixed rate per work hour, demonstrating the work-related portion of those expenses.

What Records Do You Need?

Previously, taxpayers required a dedicated workspace at home. From 1st March 2023 onwards, the record-keeping requirement has shifted again, necessitating the recording of all hours worked from home as they occur.

How Does The Fixed Rate Method Work?

To utilise the revised fixed rate method:

The Actual Cost Method:

Alternatively, taxpayers can opt for the actual cost method, where deductions are calculated based on actual additional expenses incurred while working from home. This includes expenses for depreciating assets, energy expenses, phone and internet, stationery, computer consumables, and cleaning dedicated home offices.

What Records Do You Need?

To claim work-from-home expenses using actual costs, you must maintain records showing:

How Does The Actual Cost Method Work?

To claim actual expenses:

Australians need to understand their entitlements and tax deductions while working remotely.

Consulting with a tax advisor can provide valuable insights into available concessions, deductions, and offsets for your tax return.

By staying informed and adhering to ATO guidelines, taxpayers can ensure compliance and make the most of available deductions in the evolving landscape of remote work. Why not start a conversation with us today?

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Understanding Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) And What It Covers

April 15, 2024

For businesses in Australia, providing fringe benefits to employees can be a valuable way to attract and retain talent, as well as incentivise performance.

However, employers need to understand their obligations regarding Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) administers FBT, a tax on certain non-cash benefits provided to employees in connection with their employment.

Let’s explore the types of fringe benefits subject to FBT to help businesses navigate this complex area of taxation.

  1. Car Fringe Benefits

One common type of fringe benefit is the provision of a car for the private use of employees. This includes company cars, cars leased by the employer, or even reimbursing employees for the costs of using their own cars for work-related travel.

  1. Housing Fringe Benefits

Employers may provide housing or accommodation to employees as part of their employment package. This can include providing rent-free or discounted accommodation, paying for utilities or maintenance, or providing housing allowances.

  1. Expense Payment Fringe Benefits

Expense payment fringe benefits arise when an employer reimburses or pays for expenses incurred by an employee, such as entertainment expenses, travel expenses, or professional association fees.

  1. Loan Fringe Benefits

If an employer provides loans to employees at low or no interest rates, the difference between the interest rate charged and the official rate set by the ATO may be considered a fringe benefit and subject to FBT.

  1. Property Fringe Benefits

Providing employees with property, such as goods or assets, can also result in fringe benefits. This can include items such as computers, phones, or other equipment provided for personal use.

  1. Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA)

When employers provide allowances to employees who need to live away from their usual residence for work purposes, such as for temporary work assignments or relocations, these allowances may be subject to FBT.

  1. Entertainment Fringe Benefits

Entertainment fringe benefits arise when employers provide entertainment or recreation to employees or their associates. This can include meals, tickets to events, holidays, or other leisure activities.

  1. Residual Fringe Benefits

Residual fringe benefits encompass any employee benefits that do not fall into one of the categories outlined above. This can include many miscellaneous benefits, such as gym memberships, childcare assistance, or gift vouchers.

Compliance With FBT Obligations

Employers must understand their FBT obligations and ensure compliance with relevant legislation and regulations. This includes accurately identifying and valuing fringe benefits, keeping detailed records, lodging FBT returns on time, and paying any FBT liability by the due date.

Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) is an essential consideration for businesses that provide non-cash benefits to employees.

By understanding the types of fringe benefits subject to FBT, employers can ensure compliance with tax obligations and avoid potential penalties or liabilities.

Seeking professional advice from tax experts or consultants can also help businesses navigate the complexities of FBT and develop strategies to minimise tax exposure while maximising the value of employee benefits. Why not start a conversation with one of our trusted tax advisers today?