So there seems to be quite a few of you who do a fair bit of work at home for either your job, or in managing your investments. Good on you! I thought it mightn’t be a bad idea to talk a bit about claiming home office expenses and, of course, the related tax planning tricks.

As you’ve probably figured by now, one of the main keys to tax planning is making tax-deductible purchases before the end of the financial year (and preferably purchases you were going to make sooner or later anyway). Some of these purchases, depending on your circumstances, could include:

  • New computers/laptops
  • Desks, chairs and filing cabinets
  • Software such as MYOB or PIA
  • Stationery and printing supplies
  • Even coffee and biscuits!

So if you think you might need any of these things sometime soon (I know I could go for a biscuit!), it may be in your best interests to stock up before June 30.

As well as the costs of supplies and equipment such as those listed above, we can also claim a deduction for every hour you spend working at home, to cover the costs of heating, lighting and power. Alternatively, you could also make a claim based on the comparative floor space that your dedicated home office takes up and the actual amount paid for gas and electricity.

Of course, you need to be actually working at home, and ideally not just in your lounge room, for reasons relevant to your current situation to keep the tax office happy. If your job legitimately requires you to bring some work home, or if you perhaps have a growing property portfolio you need to manage, we shouldn’t have much trouble claiming many of these things. You also need to be careful with occupancy costs (such as interest, council rates and insurance) as these could potentially cause CGT issues down the track.

This is just one more way you can help us get you the best result come tax time. And as always, do get in touch if you’d like to clarify how these tricks can work for you this year.