The ATO has now announced a number of deduction hotspots that it will pay close attention to this year, in light of COVID-19.

The Tax Office has begun bracing for a substantially different tax time this year, noting that it will likely see a flow-on effect from COVID-19 restrictions on work-related expenses claims.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat, has urged taxpayers to reduce claims for work-related expenses in the last quarter of the 2019–20 year, that would have been impacted by government-mandated restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19:

  • If you aren’t travelling for work, you can’t claim travel expenses;
  • If you aren’t wearing your work uniform, you can’t claim laundry expenses; and
  • You must have spent the money and not have been reimbursed, it must relate directly to earning your income, and you must have a record to prove it.

“Generally, most people cannot claim the cost of travelling to and from work, and working from home as a result of COVID-19 does not change this,” Ms Foat said.

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