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Common Office Claims

Be it a conscious choice to avoid a commute, or a cost cutting method for your start up business, there certainly are advantages to working from home. The better news is, that these advantages spread to claiming on your tax, and this isn't just for businesses, you can claim as an individual as well.

There are a diversity of tax claims that can be made around a home based office space:

-Electrical bills for cooling or heating your space and even lighting or powering your related equipment such as a computer. It would be a little harsh otherwise to expect you to work in 40 degree heat, handwriting and without any light if you couldn't make the claims, and it serves as an incentive to take traffic off the roads, so a win for everyone. Let's be honest, with the rising rates for electricity lately, it could be worth claiming some solar panels or a portion too! Though we should remind you that you get a portion of the cost back. The portion is based on your tax rate, so if you are taxed at 25%, and have a $100 claim, you can get $25 back as a result of a claim that size. It all adds up to a lot though!

-Depreciation of your office furniture and fittings is a quality and notable claim, it isn't just for rental properties. This kind of claim is a long term one that allows a small portion of the cost to be returned to you each year. Just remember too, that computer you likely work on depreciates too, and certainly is a high quality claimable item to keep receipts of. Even the mobiles and printer receipts are good to hold onto and claim.

-Even better than depreciation is this wonderful phrase- "write offs". Basically anything that is a 'capital item' (work related, as well as other areas) that costs less than $300 can be written off immediately instead of depreciation. Some printers come in here, stationary and phones. Sometimes office snacks like that chocolate pick me up to get through the afternoon can even fit in here (in small justifiable amounts).

-If you want an excuse to justify a cleaner, just that little bit more of one that is, we have one. You can claim the work related portion (of course all these are the work related portion), of having a cleaner come. If you are taxed at 25% it is like having a huge discount on the services, well one that comes at tax time when you visit us with the pill of receipts.

There are plenty more though we think you are a smart enough cookie to seeing the trend here. If you keep your receipts, come visit us and ask, we can talk with you about what can be claimed, and how we can go about holding onto or recording what you can rightfully claim from all your hard work.

We, at The Great Bean Counters, look forward to seeing that mega pile of receipts you can amass for your next visit or meeting with us, as well as that diary to show the hours you worked at home for claims on things like electricity. And one last handy tip: taking a photo of the full receipt that is readable and keeping these in a folder is a safe backup if any receipt rubs off or is lost.

PS. another tip is those records including a 'diary' are the key to all of the office home claims, so a small 1 second note each time can really pay off literally in the long run. Even if you want to use the fixed rate of 45 cents per hour, for home office expenses for heating, cooling, lighting and the decline in value of furniture instead of keeping details of actual costs, you just need to keep a record of the number of hours you use the home office and multiply that by 45 cents per hour. The size of your office space related to the home is also an important value for when we visit you or the reverse.

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