Black Rock, the world’s biggest asset manager, told employees on Thursday that more than half of the firm will be expected to work in the office at least three days a week beginning 1st of November.

BlackRock, with $9.5 trillion of assets under management at midyear, had previously asked employees to return to the office in early October, but backtracked on that timetable in September saying the spread of the Covid-19 delta variant called for more flexibility.

Most office workers in large cities stopped going into the office when Covid-19 arrived, and many have yet to return. The flow on affect has meant that many service providers such as the people who used to serve them lunch, coffee, clean their suits, drive them to meetings and park their cars are no longer employed.

If you are an employee working from home, what are some of the tax deductions you can claim?

If you work from home, you can claim a deduction for the additional expenses you incur. These may include:

  • electricity expenses associated with heating, cooling and lighting the area from which you are working and running items you are using for work
  • cleaning costs for a dedicated work area
  • phone and internet expenses
  • computer consumables (for example, printer paper and ink) and stationery
  • home office equipment, including computers, printers, phones, furniture and furnishings – you can claim either the
    ◦ full cost of items up to $300
    ◦ decline in value (depreciation) for items over $300.

If you are working from home, you can’t claim:

  • the cost of coffee, tea, milk and other general household items your employer may have provided for you at work
  • costs related to children and their education, including setting them up for online learning, teaching them at home or buying equipment such as iPads and desks
  • items that you’re reimbursed for, paid directly by your employer or the decline in value of items provided by your employer – for example, a laptop or a phone
  • time spent not working, such as time spent home schooling your children or your lunch break.
  • Employees generally can’t claim occupancy expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, water and rates.

You can claim a deduction of 80 cents for each hour you worked from home for the period between:

  • 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 in your 2019–20 tax return
  • 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 in your 2020–21 tax return.

If you:

  • were working from home to fulfil your employment duties and not just carrying out minimal tasks such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls
  • incurred additional running expenses as a result of working from home.

The shortcut method doesn’t require you to have a dedicated work area, such as a private study.

Source: ATO

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