Tax Changes Happening in 2020

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As the current COVID19 situation has changed the income situation of many Aussies, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has implemented new policy changes to help everyone cope. A majority of tax deductions now deal with expenses incurred while working from home.

Businesses that have also been impacted by the pandemic will also get some assistance to help them stay afloat during these difficult times. New tax policies have been in effect since July, for the 2020 tax season.

When to Lodge Your Tax Return

If you are filing without an agent, lodging should be done before 31 October. Otherwise, individuals who have a registered agent can file after the said deadline.

Businesses can lodge their tax returns by following ATO’s prescribed monthly schedule.

New Tax Policies for Individuals and Businesses

To claim ATO’s work from home deductions, Australians can use two options:

Shortcut Method

This tracks working expenses from March 1 to June 30 and allows people an 80 cents per hour deduction for internet or phone bills, or other expenses incurred by work-related use. Individuals must present receipts as proof. It’s a one-time deduction that won’t cover other work-related claims.

Other Method

This fixed-rate method has separate claims for phone, internet, or other items, but is only pegged at 52 cents an hour.

Individuals who have also availed of the Job keeping or Jobseeking stimulus program are expected to report their government benefits as “income.”

For those expecting the 1080 tax offset, they don’t have to provide any added information as ATO will automatically calculate this benefit when Aussies lodge their taxes. They can expect a tax refund between $255 to the full $1080, depending on their income bracket.

More details on how to lodge as an individual or small business are found in ATO’s resource page.


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