As the end of the financial year rapidly approaches again, it’s an opportune time to look at our most common questions for individuals – namely claiming phone and internet costs.
It’s difficult with all of the phone/internet bundles out now to try and separate out costs, and if you’re provider is moving to that method we recommend you keep a record of the costs prior to them being bundled. So for example, if your home internet was $60 and your home phone $40, often the bundle will be a similar cost, so maintain that 60/40 split when looking at internet costs for working from home.
To be able to claim mobile phone costs the ATO recommends an itemised account so that you can identify calls for work purposes to determine how much of the phone is used for work.
This can be time-consuming, so an easier method for both the internet and mobile is to record for two weeks the work and personal use for each. So put a notepad by the computer and carry a small notepad with your phone and mark every time you make a business or personal call or send a message, or record how long you’re spending on the internet for work and personal matters.
If you have other people in the house using the internet you’ll need to get them to log their time too, to ensure you get the complete picture for all internet use.
This then gives you a percentage you can use to claim your phone and internet plan. It might also be an opportune time to review how much time people at home are spending on their devices. You might be surprised to see how much time Instagram and Facebook really are taking up.