If you perform some of your work from your home office, you may be able to claim a deduction for the costs you incur in running your home office, even if the room is not set aside solely for work-related purposes.
What you can claim
You may be able to claim:
- the decline in value (depreciation) of home office equipment such as computers and telecommunications equipment – if your equipment costs less than $300, you can claim a full deduction for the work-related portion
- work-related phone calls, including from mobiles for calls to students regularly while you are away from your workplace – for example, you call parents of your students to discuss behavioural issues
- work-related internet access charges
- the cost of heating, cooling and lighting your home office that is over the amount you would ordinarily have to pay if you did not work from home
- the costs of repairs to your home office furniture and fittings.
A depreciating asset, such as a computer, is an asset that has a limited effective life and can reasonably be expected to decline in value over the time you use it.
If you purchase an item that cost more than $300, you can only claim a deduction for its decline in value.
What you cannot claim
Occupancy expenses include rent or mortgage interest, council rates and house insurance premiums. You can only claim occupancy expenses where your home office is considered to be a place of business. If your only income is paid to you as an employee, you are generally not able to claim a deduction for your occupancy expenses.
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