Question: My employer is encouraging or requiring me to work from home. Will I be able to claim a deduction for home office expenses?
Answer: Yes, if you work from home because of COVID-19 you may be able to claim a deduction for the additional running expenses you incur. These include expenses associated with heating, cooling, and lighting in the area you are working from, phone and internet and other running expenses.
ATO has introduced a temporary simplified method (shortcut method) for you to calculate the additional running expenses you incur as a result of working from home due to COVID-19. The shortcut method allows you to claim 80 cents for each hour you work from home and covers all deductible running expenses. You may still use one of the existing methods to calculate your running expenses if you would prefer to. This includes calculating your actual running expenses.
Not sure which method is the best? don’t worry, we will do the calculation so you can get the best out of it.
Question: Can I claim working from home expenses when I’m on leave or if I’ve been stood down during the COVID-19 period?
Answer: No, you can only claim for the actual time that you spend working from home due to COVID-19.
Question: If I use the shortcut method to claim my expenses while I work from home, what records do I need to keep?
Answer: If you are using the shortcut method, you need to keep records showing the amount of time you have spent working from home. This could be in the form of timesheets, rosters, a diary, or similar document that sets out the hours worked.
Question: I claim my car-related expenses using the logbook method. Will I need to keep a new logbook for an updated representative period of private and business usage during COVID-19?
Answer: No, you are not required to keep a new logbook for the period in which your travel has been affected by COVID-19 as long as you account for any variation in the use of the car when working out your business kilometers and your business use percentage at the end of the income year.
Question: Can I claim a deduction for gloves, face masks, sanitiser, anti-bacterial spray that I use at work due to COVID-19?
Answer: You may be able to claim a deduction for protective items you purchase and use at work. It must have a sufficient connection with the earning of your assessable income, which means you are exposed to the risk of illness or injury in the course of carrying out your income earning activities and the risk is not remote or negligible.
Questions: What are the supports for businesses and employers?
Answers: The JobKeeper Payment is open to eligible employers so they can continue to pay their eligible employees and restart quickly when the COVID-19 crisis is over.
ATO also provide tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible businesses, delivered through credits in the activity statement system, when eligible businesses lodge their activity statements.
Another support is Increasing the instant asset write-off From 12 March 2020 until 31 December 2020. If you are not sure what those supports are, don’t you worry, we will sort it out for you.
Question: I have had to pause my business. Do I need to cancel my ABN and GST registration?
Answer: If you have temporarily ceased some trading activities in your business but you intend to restart when you can, you are not required to cancel your ABN and GST registration.
Question: Will I need to pay FBT if I provide an employee with items to allow them to work from home due to COVID-19?
Answer: If you provide your employees with a laptop and a portable printer or other portable electronic devices to enable them to work from home or from another location due to COVID-19, these will usually be exempt from FBT if they are primarily used for your employee’s employment.
Question: If I give my employees gloves, face masks, sanitisers and anti-bacterial spray to protect them from contracting COVID-19 while at work, do I need to pay FBT on these benefits?
Answer: It depends. These benefits will be exempt from FBT under the emergency assistance exemption if you provide them to your employees to carry out their duties that require them to have physical contact or be in close proximity to customers or clients while carrying out their duties or they are involved in cleaning premises.
Question: I can’t afford to pay my employee’s super guarantee contributions by the due date because of COVID-19. What do I need to do?
Answer: Legally, ATO can’t extend the due date to pay the super guarantee contributions for your employees.Pay as much as you can by the due date, even if you can’t pay in full. Thi