Working from Home

Can I claim home office expenses?

Currently, there are more and more people working from home. As a result, this is a question which is asked frequently. The first rule of claiming a deduction is that you must have paid for the expense. If your employer pays them on your behalf or you are reimbursed, there is no deduction to claim. What you can claim for a home office depends on a number of factors:

  1. Is your home office a dedicated space solely for this purpose?
  2. Is your home office the principal place of work?


Your home is the principal place of work and you have a dedicated office area Your home is not the principal place of work and you have a dedicated office area. You work from home but do not have a dedicated office area
Running Expenses

YES YES NO
Depreciation on assets eg. computer

YES YES YES
Work related phone and internet costs

YES YES YES
Occupancy Costs

YES NO NO


Running Expenses – These include

  • Printing and Stationary
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Repairs to equipment

There are 2 ways to calculate the running costs:

  1. Claim a fixed cost of 52 cents per hour worked –this covers claims on heating and cooling as well as basic office furniture. You must keep a diary to substantiate hours worked at home.
  2. Claim based on actual expenses – you must keep receipts to substantiate claim

Depreciation on Assets – These include but are not limited to computers, printers, office furniture.

If you are claiming home office using the fixed rate of 52 cents per hour, this includes depreciation on basic office furniture. Therefore, there is no additional claim on these. However, you can still claim depreciation on computers and other office equipment.

If not, you can claim a deduction for assets purchased that you use in the home office. You will need to keep receipts to substantiate this claim. In circumstances such as a computer, which is used for both work and personal reasons, you must keep a diary to verify the work use of a computer.

Phone and Internet Costs

There are two ways to calculate your phone and internet costs. They are:

1. Claim up to $50 with limited documentation; or

2. Calculate the actual expenses. – you will need to keep the receipts to substantiate your deduction.

If your deduction is more than $50, you will need to keep records for a four-week period every year, such as a diary to record business use of internet and business calls.

Occupancy Costs – These include

  • Rent
  • Mortgage Interest
  • Property Insurance
  • Rates

Employees generally cannot claim occupancy expenses. Please note, however, if you claim occupancy expenses, your home will not qualify for the capital gains tax main residence exemption for the area that you work in. Therefore, you may have tax to pay if you sell your home.

For a factsheet provided by the Taxation Office with additional information, please click on the following link:

https://www.ato.gov.au/uploadedFiles/Content/IND/Downloads/Working-from-home.pdf