One third of Australians can expect about a bigger tax return this year because of COVID-19

May 20, 2020

One third of the population to cash in

More than 30 per cent of Australian tax payers expect to get a bigger tax refund this year either because of an increase in work related expenses or a lower income.

With the end of financial year just around the corner, tax experts reveal exactly what Aussies are entitled to.

Aussies can also claim items you had to buy to work at home, like monitors or office equipment

Working from home expenses

Aussies working from home can claim electricity, heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning costs, phone, internet and home office equipment up to $300.

You can also claim items you had to buy to work at home, like monitors or office equipment.

"We can see a reduction in relation to work related car expenses and also travel costs," author and tax expert Dr Adrian Raftery told A Current Affair.

Mr Raftery also warns the 80 cents per hour working from home shortcut may not generate the best this year.

"I was locked up for 10 weeks, I was doing an extra eight hours of heating a day, and that works out to be $60 a quarter," Economist Peter Switzer calculated.

"But if you really do find you're spending a lot of money on internet, telephone bills, then the actual cost method might be the best way to go," he told A Current Affair.

More than 30 per cent of Australian tax payers expect to get a bigger tax refund this year either because of an increase in work related expenses or a lower income.

Redundancy or job loss

If you're out of work for an extended period of time, it's likely you'll receive a bigger tax refund. That's because the tax you paid in the first part of the year is more than you'd accumulate over 12 months.

"If you are made redundant, the first $10,638 of your redundancy payment, plus $5320 for each year that you completed working with your employer, is tax free," Mr Raftery said.

The remainder, along with any unused leave or annual leave, will be taxed at 32 per cent.

If you're out of work for an extended period of time, it's likely you'll receive a bigger tax refund.

JobKeeper – for recipients and businesses

Expecting a $1500 JobKeeper payment? Not after tax.

"If you are on the JobKeeper payment and you're getting $1500, the tax on that will be $192. So therefore, you end up effectively with $1,308 after tax," Mr Switzer said.

That isn't the only thing to worry about if you're on the JobKeeper payment.

"If you are working two jobs and one of them does include the JobKeeper payment and getting more than what you normally do, you may get an extra tax bill at the end of the year," Mr Raftery said.

He suggests putting some money aside now to avoid coming up short when the ATO sends their bill at the end of the financial year.

If you run a small business, it's important to note that the JobKeeper payment is taxable but the Cash Flow Boost isn't.

"Don't put it in as income in your tax return, otherwise you'll be paying tax you shouldn't be, Dr Raftery warned.

Negative gearing

"Negative gearing is one of the biggest claims that investors make each year, but we'd expect negative gearing losses be even higher this year because rents aren't coming in, they're not being paid as often or not being paid at all," Mr Raftery said.

Negative gearing is one of the biggest claims that investors make each year

Additional information

The ATO website is your best bet for accurate information about what you can and can't claim. It's also an invaluable resource if you're going without an accountant this year.

"There hasn't been a history of the tax department practicing empathy, but I do think they will look past mistakes people make maybe in the claiming of their deductions, provided they're not excessive," Mr Switzer said.

The ATO website is your best bet for accurate information about what you can and can't claim. 

Original article published here on 20 May 2020 on the A Current Affair website.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "Congrats Bikash. If you are working as an accountant (or in the general field) then you can prepay your CPA course fees & claim as a tax deduction this year as work-related self education study. If..."

    By: Mr Taxman at Jun 25, 2020 1:39AM

    Post: Tax strategies that count the cost of COVID-19 and recession

  • "Hi Adrian, I bought your new book, got my free $500 after co-contribution. I am planning to my CPA, enrolment starts 30 June 2020 but semester only begins on August 2020. Can i claim the..."

    By: Bikash at Jun 23, 2020 3:59AM

    Post: Tax strategies that count the cost of COVID-19 and recession

  • "If you run a business Bikash you could claim in full via the instant asset write-off. However if you are an employee you will need to depreciate the laptop & only claim a very small amount in your..."

    By: Mr Taxman at Jun 22, 2020 9:28AM

    Post: Max your tax return: 5 things you should do before 30 June

  • "Can i claim laptop purchase with covid?"

    By: Bikash Rai at Jun 21, 2020 8:25AM

    Post: Max your tax return: 5 things you should do before 30 June

  • "You won't be able to claim a deduction for car parking unless a0 you park for less than four hours between 7am and 7pm; or b) you park more than 1km from work (ie not close proximity to work)."

    By: Mr Taxman at Jun 15, 2020 7:33AM

    Post: Claiming car expenses