Deduction for Phone and Internet

 

Claiming mobile phones, internet and home phone expenses

Where taxpayers use their own phone (s) or internet for work purposes, they may be able to claim a deduction if they paid for these costs and have records to support their claims. If they use their phone (s) or internet for both work and private use, they will need to work out the percentage that reasonably relates to their work use.

Substantiating Claims

To claim a deduction of more than $50, taxpayers need to keep records for a 4 week representative period in each income year.

These records may include:

  • Diary entries – Including Electronic Records
  • Bills and Preferably
  • Evidence that their employer expects them to work at home, or make some work related calls.

How to apportion work use of a taxpayer’s phone

Incidental use is incidental and they are not claiming a deduction of more than $50 in total, they may make a claim based on the following, without having analyse their bills:

  • $0.25 for work calls made from their land line
  • $0.75 for work calls made from their mobile
  • $0.10 for text messages sent from their mobile.

Bundled Phone and Internet Plans

Phone and internet services are often bundled. When tax payers are claiming deductions for work related use of one or more services, they need to apportion their costs based on their work use for each service.

Holiday’s rental under the microscope

The ATO has advised that it is sending letters to taxpayers in approximately 500 postcodes across Australia, reminding them to only claim the deductions they are entitled to, for the periods a holiday’s home is rented out, or is genuinely available for rent. They advise that, to avoid making mistakes on their tax return, property owners should:

  • Keep accurate records to ensure they declare the right amount of rental income and have exudence for claims made and
  • Only claim deductions for the periods the property is rented out, or is genuinely available for rent.

If a property is rented at below market rates, for example to family or friends, claims for deductions must be limited to income earned while rented.

Medium and large Employers: Get on to Super Stream

The ATO has reminded medium to large employers (i.e. with 20 or more employees) who are not yet using Super Stream that they only have until 31 October to adopt Super Stream to make their super contributions.

From 1 November, the ATO will be focusing on employers who have been identified as non- compliant with SuperStream.

The ATO said that it will continue to help employers adopt SuperStream, but there could be penalties for those who deliberately choose not to adopt it.

With the majority (90%) of medium and large businesses already using SuperStream, it says that all remaining employers are urged to investigate their options and adopt SuperStream now.

Options available for employers to adopt SuperStream include:

  • Upgrading payroll software
  • Using a clearing house service
  • Using their default super funds portal
  • All employees need to be compliant by 1st of July 2015.

Credit and Debit Cards data – Matching Program

The ATO has announced that it will conduct a data – matching program on credit and debit card transactions for the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 years.

Data will be collected from the following financial institutions:

  • American Express Australia Limited
  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
  • Bank of Queensland Limited
  • BWA Merchant Services Pty Ltd
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Diners Club Australia
  • National Australia Bank Limited
  • St George Bank
  • Westpac Banking Corporation

Voice 

Based on previous programs, it is estimated that over 8 Million records will be acquired, relating to over 940,000 merchants. These records are linked to approximately 90,000 individuals and 850,000 non – individuals.