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15-Oct-2020 By - team

Interested in deducting internet and phone as business expenses?

Which of these devices—a laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or phone—do you use for work? After that, you are eligible to make a claim for a deduction due to the job-related usage of the equipment as well as the percentage of the device's depreciation that is attributable to work use.

If you use your personal phone or internet connection for business activities, you can be eligible for a deduction if all of the following requirements are met:

  • You are the one who personally spent the money,
  • and the expenditure is directly tied to the generation of your income;
  • thus, you are required to keep a record to show it.

You are not eligible to make a deduction claim if you have not incurred any expenditures or if your employer has compensated you for any costs that you have incurred.

If you purchased a smartphone, tablet or other electronic device outright, you can also claim a deduction for a percentage of the cost based on your work-related usage. If the item cost less than $300, you can claim an immediate deduction.

Work out 20% of your monthly Internet bill. Multiply your monthly work-related internet bill by 12 to give you a figure for the year, or whatever period you've spent working from home.

You can claim 52c per hour you work from home. Plus, you can separately claim the work-related portion of your phone, internet, computer depreciation and other expenses.
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There has been an increase in the number of people in Australia who are now working from home as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak; thus, it is probable that your household’s usage of both the Internet and mobile devices has increased. Therefore, if you want to get a tax refund on your Internet and phone bills at the end of the fiscal year, you need to make sure you know how to calculate the portion of your Internet and phone cost used for professional reasons.

There is a possibility that you might be eligible for a tax reduction if you are a single proprietor, have a home office, or perform some of your job from the comfort of your own home. You are permitted to deduct some of the cost of maintaining an Internet connection on your tax return form 1040. This is due to the fact that maintaining an Internet connection is sometimes an essential expense required to generate money. However, only the portion of internet use that is directly related to a business can be deducted. Because of this, it is essential that you keep meticulous records and limit your deductions to the proportion of time that is directly related to internet use for work.

Mobiles For Work

According to the findings of some recent studies, there are more mobile phones in Australia than there are people. Because cellphones are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, so it is getting harder for employees to differentiate between their jobs and personal lives. Our culture of being “always-on” instils in our staff the obligation to be reachable at nearly any time of the day, on any day of the week, and at any location.

If you are one of the millions of people in Australia who uses their mobile phone to make or receive work-related calls, you may be eligible to claim a tax deduction on the costs you incur as a result. However, due to the fact that the typical cost of an annual smartphone bill is now hovering around $700, you may be passing up the opportunity to receive an additional several hundred dollars in tax refund when you file your return.

Here is all you need to know about claiming your phone usage so that you don’t cheat yourself out of money or mistakenly submit too much information.

Common work-related phone expenses include:

  • Phone calls
  • Video calls
  • Text messages
  • Emails
  • Logging in to systems
  • Software testing
  • Online research
  • Tracking


Therefore, when you use your mobile phone for work, you are not only spending money on business-related phone calls but also on data, which means that it is hard to recover all of your phone expenditures back in our pocket each of you.

If you pay for the costs of using your phone for business reasons and have documents to support your claims, you may be eligible for a deduction if you use your phone for work-related purposes. If you use your phone for business and personal reasons, you will need to calculate the amount of time that can be tied back to your professional activities. You are not permitted to submit a claim for reimbursement of phone costs after your employer has already paid for them.

In order to calculate your deduction, you will need to select a typical period of four weeks that falls inside the tax year at some time.

If you have a phone plan that gives an itemised bill, you need to figure out how much time you spent on calls connected to your job over the course of the most recent four weeks and include that time in your total. After that point, you are free to make use of the information throughout the whole year.

You may be eligible to deduct a portion of the cost of purchasing a phone that you have paid for in full and that you use in some capacity for business purposes. You will, of course, want evidence that the purchase was made. If the cost of the phone was less than $300, you might make a claim for a tax deduction equal to the proportion of that cost that was related to your business. This would be a one-time tax deduction.

You may write off the cost of the mobile phone’s depreciation over the course of its useful life, which the ATO estimates to be two years from the day it was purchased.

It is very typical for phone providers to package internet service with their phone services these days. If you have a mobile, home, and internet bundle, you will need to divide up your charges for each service according to the percentage of time you spend using that service for business. If other people in your household use the internet, you will need to consider their participation in the computation.

In order to determine whether or not your pattern of use is fair, you will need to determine what portion of your usage was connected to work during a period of four weeks that is reflective of the whole tax year. After that, you may put this into action to get used throughout the year.

The supply of internet service and phone service are usually packaged together in modern times. Therefore, if you are going to be claiming deductions for utilising one or more job-related services, you will need to divide up your expenses according to the percentage of each service that you will be using for work.

You need to make sure that the participation of any other persons who live in your home who utilise the services is taken into consideration when you do the computation.

If you have a bundled plan, you are expected to calculate the proportion of time spent on work-related activities for each service during a four-week period that is representative of the income year. This calculation must be done for the entire income year. This will make it possible for you to build a pattern of work utilisation that you can then employ throughout the entire year when it has been established.

The following are some examples of legitimate grounds for determining your work-related use:

  • Internet
    • any additional costs incurred as a result of your job-related use, such as if your work-related use results in you exceeding your monthly cap, the quantity of data downloaded for work as a proportion of the total data downloaded by all members of your household.
    • any additional costs that were incurred as a result of your usage of the product or service for work-related purposes.
  • Phone
    • the quantity of calls made for work expressed as a proportion of the overall number of calls you make to the company; the amount of time spent on calls connected to work expressed as a proportion of the total number of calls you make.
    • any additional expenses spent as a consequence of your work-related calls, for example, if your work-related use results in you exceeding your monthly cap. any additional costs incurred as a result of your work-related calls.


You can pay the work percentage of the total leasing fee if you lease the phone, and the same option is available if you pay for a monthly plan. First, keep a note of all of your work data consumption and compare it to your personal usage. Then, when you file your return, claim the work proportion.

Itemised bills:

Work out the amount to claim by:

  1. Keeping a log of the number of work calls as well as the total amount of time spent on work calls
  2. Keeping track of the quantity of data that was downloaded for professional reasons.

For instance, Ann pays $80 per month for her phone plan, which entitles her to 500 minutes of talk time and 1.5 gigabytes of data. Her statement contains an itemised breakdown of her phone conversations as well as information regarding her average monthly data consumption.

Ann determines that twenty percent of her time is spent on phone calls connected to her work. Therefore, after deducting the month of vacation she took throughout the year, she determines that 20% of $80 multiplied by 11 months is $176. Therefore, she is eligible to deduct $176 worth of phone expenditures on her tax return.

Non itemised bills

If your bill is not itemised, you should keep a record of the money you spend on your phone that is linked to your job.

If you use your personal mobile phone for work-related purposes, you have the right to claim a deduction for the costs that you incurred as long as your employer did not reimburse you for those costs and you have records to support your claims. If your employer did reimburse you, you do not have the right to claim a deduction for those costs. If you use your phone for personal and professional reasons, you can still make a claim for a deduction, but you can only deduct the proportion of the time spent on work-related calls.


How Do I Claim My Mobile Phone Bills As A Tax Deduction?

Claiming your phone bill on tax

If you use your phone for work, you may be eligible to deduct some or all of the costs associated with the use of your phone for work on your tax return. In the same way that you may only claim the expense of Internet usage that is directly related to your business, the same goes for mobile phone usage. For instance, checking business emails on your phone and making phone calls linked to work would both be deemed to be work use of your phone. Trying to figure it out is quite similar to how you use the internet:

  1. You have a rough approximation of how much of your phone time is spent on work-related activities. For instance, if you believe that forty percent of your phone use is for professional reasons, then you should deduct forty percent.
  2. Calculate forty percent of your monthly price for your mobile phone plan.
  3. To get an estimate for the entire year, multiply the amount of your monthly phone bill that is connected to work by 12.

It is not enough to just upload a copy of your monthly mobile phone bill to your tax return and submit the entire amount due as a deduction for your phone charges. The process is more complicated than that. The ATO is aware that you use your personal phone for both business and personal purposes. So how exactly should one go about properly claiming expenditures linked to their business phone calls?

To begin, you need to clarify that you may only claim the portion of your phone use related to business. You will be responsible for determining what that proportion is, and you will also be responsible for keeping records of the expenditures.

Even if you are required to preserve records to provide evidence in support of your claim, you do not need to keep every phone record. Therefore, before you begin to emphasise your work calls, here is how you may provide evidence to support your claim.

If you are claiming a deduction that is greater than fifty dollars, you are required to keep a record for a period of forty-five days, beginning at some time throughout the tax year. For example, if your phone account is itemised, you need to calculate the proportion of time you spent on work-related calls during the previous four weeks and then extrapolate that number to the whole year.

Your employees should be provided with allowances or reimbursements so that they can use their mobile devices to set up and use their myGovID accounts. These expenditures are also going to be tax deductible. To put it another way, if you pay your staff to use their own mobile devices to set up and utilise myGovID, you are able to deduct the costs associated with doing so.

In the event that you do not get an itemised bill, you can estimate the proportion of your work-related use by maintaining a log of all of your calls for a period of four weeks to serve as a representative sample. After that, you’ll be able to compute your claim utilising a fair foundation. This might involve the following:

  • The number of calls that were made in relation to work as a percentage of the total number of calls that were made.
  • It is common practise to describe the overall amount of time spent on work-related phone calls as a percentage of the total number of calls one makes.
  • It is expressed as a percentage of the overall amount of data that you have downloaded, and the quantity of data that was downloaded for professional reasons is included in that percentage.

Additional records may be retained, such as entries in a diary, electronic records, and invoices, for example. You can also prove that you are qualified for a deduction by giving documentation that your employer expects you to work from home or make some work-related calls. This is another way to demonstrate that you are entitled for a deduction. This will help you establish that you are eligible for the deduction that has been requested of you.

You can only claim a tax deduction for the portion of your bills that relate to your work use, not your personal use, and you need to be able to show your calculations to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) if they ask you to. You can only claim a tax deduction for the portion of your bills that relate to your work use, not your personal use. Every year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) reviews tax returns to ensure taxpayers claim all of the deductions to which they are legally entitled. You won’t be eligible for the tax deduction, and on top of that, you could have to pay a fine if you make an exaggerated claim or are unable to provide proof of the calculations you used.

Recruiting And Hiring During The Coronavirus Outbreak Pic 2

When Is It Not Possible To Deduct Your Phone?

Phone provided by the employer

If your company gives you a phone to use for work purposes and they pay the bill for the usage (phone calls, text messages, and data), then you are not eligible for a deduction for those costs. In a similar vein, you are not eligible for a deduction if you are required to pay for your consumption but are later reimbursed by your employer.

Expenses that are incurred prior to the start of employment.

If you use your phone to look for work, you are not eligible for a deduction since your use of the phone has not yet resulted in the generation of any money for you.

In a similar vein, you are not eligible for a deduction if you are a casual employee and an employer phones you to invite you to work or if you call the employer to check on the availability of employment. But, again, this expense is not regarded as one that has a direct bearing on the actions that contribute to the generation of your revenue. Instead, it’s an endeavour that puts you in a position to generate that revenue in the future.

You are only eligible to claim a deduction for a part of your phone use in the event that you are making taxable income and your employer needs you to use your phone directly in the process of earning that revenue.

For more information on expenditures that are typically seen as being private or capital in nature and that are either not allowed or that require apportionments, such as installation fees, line rental, and joint use charges, see the following:

Working while you study?

Participating in training or being qualified for your job as part of your responsibilities? If one of the following statements describes your situation, you may be eligible for a tax deduction for the expenditures associated with self-education:

  • There was, at the time that the cost was incurred, a direct relationship between the continuing education and the work you are doing now, as well as the revenue you are earning.
  • You are able to demonstrate that the research either directly results in or has the potential to result in an increase in revenue from your existing employment or work activities.
  • Any additional direct link that may be identified between ongoing job tasks and self-educational pursuits is encouraged.

If this sounds like your circumstance, you may be eligible for a tax deduction for the portion of your equipment that is relevant to the research.

You are eligible to make an instant deduction for the entire price of the item provided that it does not exceed $300. If the item costs more than $300, you are eligible to take a deduction each year for the value it lost over the year (depreciation). This period of time is normally three years for portable computers like laptops and typically four years for stationary computers like desktops.

Again, you will need to keep a journal to illustrate the section of your gadget linked to the research.

Claiming As An Individual

If you are currently employed, are forced to work from home, and have just purchased a personal computer, you may be eligible to claim the value of your computer as a year-by-year depreciation deduction on your taxes.

To be able to make such a claim, you have to use the computer in a manner that is appropriate for a professional setting. You are only permitted to deduct a percentage that is proportional to the amount of time spent on activities related to work if you use the computer for both personal and professional reasons. If you do not use the computer for both personal and professional reasons, you are not allowed to deduct any percentage. In addition, you are not allowed to make a claim for a deduction that is associated with your computer if you paid for it out of your own pocket and your employer reimbursed you for the expense of purchasing it.

Freelancers who are required to purchase certain items in order to carry out their work, such as computers or laptops, may be able to deduct a portion of the cost of those items from their annual tax return. This perk is available to all employees, not only those who work remotely. Freelancers who run their businesses out of their homes could potentially be eligible. Take, for instance, the scenario in which an individual’s current profession is directly relevant to the self-education that the individual is pursuing. In this scenario, the person may be eligible to take a deduction for a portion of the expense associated with the purchase of a computer or laptop. Because there are laws and regulations that apply to every imaginable scenario, you should never make any assumptions about your tax status until consulting with a tax professional first. By doing so, you will prevent yourself from inadvertently claiming an incorrectly high or low amount on your tax return.

Making a Small Business Claim

You are eligible for an instant tax deduction for any assets that cost less than $20,000 if you run a small business, defined as an organisation with a yearly revenue of less than $10 million.

The best uses of this kind of deduction are:

  • Uber drivers
  • Individuals who manage shops on Etsy and eBay
  • Airtasker employees
  • Anyone who owns or operates a little enterprise

If you buy a laptop or desktop computer for your company specifically for the purpose of doing business, you should be able to deduct the whole purchase price from your taxes right away.

This contains numerous gadgets, including:

  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • Tablets
  • Mobile phones
  • Printers


If only a portion of the desktop computer or laptop is utilised for business purposes, the only portion of the cost that can be deducted is the amount that was spent on the business. You will need to keep a diary for a period of one month in order to establish a pattern of usage in order to achieve this objective. In order to do so, you will need to have it handy. After that, your accountant or tax expert will be able to assist you in apportioning the appropriate amount and will advise you regarding the documents that you need to retain in order to provide evidence in support of your claim. They will also tell you about the documents that you need to retain in order to provide evidence in support of your claim.

In addition to the cost of your computer, as the owner of a small company, you are eligible to claim expenditures related to the installation and maintenance of your computer and costs associated with the internet.

At the latest, the quick write-off of assets worth $20,000 is accessible until June 30, 2017. If you make your purchase before the 30th of June of this year, you can claim a tax break on your return for this year. In that case, you won’t be able to apply for the relief until the next calendar year.

In order to qualify for the deduction, the asset must be put to use before the end of the tax year (30 June). So if you order something, but it isn’t delivered until the next year, you won’t be able to file a claim until the following year.




Guest post by : team Form -

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