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Working from home deductions

Those who produce some form of assessable income at home or incur expenses from using that home as a workplace can claim for expenses and tax deductions.

Individuals can claim deductions for their home if it is used for income earning activities but isn’t a place of business, or if it is being used as the main place of business. The tax implications vary depending on which of these circumstances applies to an individual. Expenses individuals can claim generally fall into the following categories:

Depreciation on equipment: Deductions can be made for depreciating items like electrical tools and devices, desks, computers or chairs. Those who use the depreciating asset solely for business purposes can claim a full deduction for the decline in value. If individuals also qualify as a “small business entity” (make less than $2 million a year turnover), they can immediately write off most depreciating assets that cost less than $1,000. Using the depreciating asset for non-business purposes means individuals must reduce the deduction for decline in value by an amount that reflects the non-business use.

Running expenses: Running expenses are viewed as costs from using facilities in the home to help run the business or home office. These include electricity, gas, phone bills and perhaps even cleaning costs. A way of working out how much of these running expenses are used to run the business could be to use your floor to measure what was used e.g. if the floor area of your home office makes up 10% of the total area of your home, you can claim 10% of heating costs.

Occupancy expenses: Occupancy expenses can only be claimed by those who use their home as a place of business, not just work there from time to time. These individuals must have an area of their home dedicated exclusively to business purposes only. Occupancy expenses are expenses paid to own, rent or use this area. They include rent or mortgage interest, council rates, land taxes and house insurance premiums.

Posted on 27 August '15 by , under Tax.

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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
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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).
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  • Details of your previous fund.

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