A SPECIAL tax 'shortcut' has been created for people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has confirmed a new way to claim deductions for running expenses will be introduced for staff doing their jobs from home.
The new 'shortcut' means people can claim a flat rate of 80 cents per hour worked at home, rather than individuals calculating specific costs.
The ATO previously required people to have a dedicated 'work from home' area, a regulation which has also been dropped.
The organisation confirmed multiple people living in the same house can each claim the 80 cents per hour flat rate.
The tax office said workers must keep a record of the number of hours worked from home, as a result of COVID-19, through things like timesheets, diary notes or rosters.
People can still use other methods of claiming if they wish.
PFK Australia partner Simon Thorn works in the financial sector across communities in regional NSW like Tamworth, and said although it won't amount to much individually, it's a "sensible" solution.
"We're all adding to our power bill and our internet and phone bills, so it's a small initiative by the government to make it easier," he said.
He said as with any other tax return, people must show a methodology as to how they calculated their hours worked - such as keeping a diary and timesheets.
There was previously a provision provided by the ATO for people working from home to claim a fixed rate of 52 cents per work hour.
More information can be found on the ATO website.