Australians will be able to claim hand sanitiser and facemasks as part of their tax returns this year, as well as other working from home expenses.

The Coronavirus lockdown has forced millions to work from home but for those who had to venture out in public, they can claim COVID-19 related expenses.

Officials have gone on to confirm, however, that most will not be able to claim the cost of laundry or travel expenses.

‘Taxpayers working in jobs that require physical contact or close proximity with customers or clients during COVID-19 measures may be able to claim a deduction for items such as gloves, face masks, sanitiser or anti-bacterial spray if they have paid for the items and not been reimbursed,’ Australian Tax Office Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat said on Thursday. 

‘This includes industries like healthcare, retail and hospitality.’ 

To make things simpler, Ms Float said the Australian Tax Office will introduce a ‘shortcut method’ that auto deducts 80 cents an hour for the costs paid for when working from home.

This will cover things such as internet use, air-conditioning and other household items.

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As a result of people working from home, the tax office is prepared to see  declines in ‘ laundry expenses or travel expenses’

The three rules of tax returns still apply ‘’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.’’

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