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Home-based work expenses

The Australian Tax Office allows Australians who work at or from their home to claim a deduction for the additional expenses they incur from running their business.

Generally speaking, the deductible expenses that can be claimed are divided into two categories; occupancy expenses and running expenses.

Occupancy expenses: relate to ‘the place of business’, i.e. where part of an individual’s home is used solely for income producing activities. Examples of occupancy expenses include:

To be eligible to claim a deduction for an occupancy expense, the area of the home used for business activities must have the ‘character of a place of business’. The ATO has stated that the following shows an area of a home is ‘a place of business’ where:

Running expenses: are costs that relate to the use of facilities in the home to run the business, such as:

Individuals can only claim a tax deduction for the amount of running expenses’ usage from the business, not general household expenses.

Posted on 12 October '16 by , under Tax.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
  • Your fund's unique superannuation identifier (USI).
  • Details of your previous fund.

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