With the great disruptors of the Australian bushfires and the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the associated government economic stimulus measures, there are some key tax-related matters for everyone to be aware of this year.
The ATO has a range of approaches to support taxpayers through tax time 2020, especially where new circumstances mean you might be receiving a different type of income or be able to claim new deductions.
People accessing super early as a part of the COVID-19 early release scheme can rest assured that this money will not form a part of their assessable income. To date, 1.98 million people have withdrawn an average of $7,475 from their super under the scheme.
Another key difference this year is the introduction of the optional simplified method for claiming work from home expense deductions. This method allows you to claim 80 cents for each hour you worked from home from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020, to cover all deductible expenses. However, if you were working from home before 1 March 2020 or have documented actual expenses that work out to be more than 80 cents per hour you can still use the usual method to claim expenses related to working from home.
If you were unable to work from home and had to take leave or were temporarily stood down, if your employer made any kind of payment, either regular or one-off, those amounts will need to be declared as wages and salary on your return and tax will apply at your usual marginal rates. This applies regardless of whether the payments are funded by the government JobKeeper scheme.
If you’ve been made redundant or had your employment terminated, any payment you receive may consist of a tax-free portion and a concessionally taxed portion, which means that you could potentially pay less tax.
Contact us today to discuss your options and get us working on your 2020 tax return.
To read other July 2020 Client Alerts, click here.