Having recognised the situation in relation to COVID-19, the ATO has extended the 80 cents per hour ‘shortcut method’ to calculate working from home expenses until 31 December 2020.

Taxpayers wishing to use this method to calculate their working from home expenses, are being told to keep a record of the number of hours they work from home.

“If you are unable to lodge on time due to the impact of COVID-19, we encourage you to contact us or speak with a registered tax advisor as early as possible,” Ms Foat concluded.

The ATO is also asking taxpayers to be aware of how their work-related expenses might be different this year.

“Of course, as expected, we’ve seen more people than ever make claims for working from home expenses,” Ms Foat cautioned.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing a small number of people not taking care to adjust their claims to their altered circumstances or making claims without sufficient evidence. Not being able to support your claim if asked, may delay your refund and result in a penalty in the most serious cases.”

With a number of taxpayers yet to lodge, Ms Foat explained that those planning to lodge with a tax agent may have a later lodgement date, but should contact their agent and get on their books now.