Shortcut rate for claiming home office expenses extended

The ATO has extended (again) the ability to utilise the “shortcut rate” for claiming home office running expenses to 30 June 2021 (it previously only applied until 31 December 2020).

The ATO’s guideline allows certain taxpayers to claim a fixed rate per hour (80 cents per hour) for most additional running expenses incurred when working from home by keeping a record of the number of hours they have worked from home, rather than needing to calculate specific running expenses.

The expenses included in the shortcut rate include lighting, heating, cooling and cleaning costs, the decline in value and repair of home office items (such as furniture and furnishings in the area used for work, computers and laptops, etc.), and phone and internet expenses.

However, the guideline does not cover “occupancy expenses”, such as rent, mortgage interest, property insurance and land taxes.

New measures applying from 1 January 2021

The Government has provided an update of a number of new measures which came into effect from 1 January 2021, including (among others):

The most significant changes to Australia’s insolvency framework in 30 years, which are intended to reduce costs, cut red tape and help more small businesses recover from the pandemic.  The reforms introduce a new, simplified debt restructuring process.  These measures apply to incorporated businesses with liabilities of less than $1 million — covering around 76% of businesses subject to insolvencies today, 98% of which have less than 20 employees.

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Why a will is a must

A will is a must in 2021. It’s never a comfortable conversation to have, however up to 45% of Australians pass away without a will in place. 

“If you do not have a will, your estate will be distributed according to a formula set out by the law.”

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5 ways to stretch your budget further

Check out our 5 ways to stretch your budget further below.

1. Get a smart accountant

Although most of us could file a simple tax return, it pays (literally) to have a strategic accountant. At Aspect Accountants and Advisors, we work on each client engagement  to legally and strategically help optimise your tax position and protect your assets. This requires experience, to ensure you comply with the law and maximise your wealth. Don’t forget, your accountants fee is tax deductible.

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