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Accountants circle ‘ominous’ changes to ATO fixed-rate method

The ATO has confirmed it will “modernise” the 52¢ fixed-rate method however some are feeling confused over the lack of clarification.

Tax&Compliance Emma Ryan 20 October 2021
— 1 minute read

Recently, the ATO shared that it has extended the work-from-home shortcut method until 30 June 2022, receiving much praise from the profession.

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The move sees taxpayers able to claim the 80¢ per hour temporary shortcut method to calculate working-from-home deductions. 

Upon confirming the news, deputy commissioner, individuals and intermediaries, Hoa Wood noted: “For the 2022-23 tax return, we are looking to modernise the 52¢ per hour fixed rate method and make it easier and simpler to use, given that more Australians will be working from home in the longer term.

“More on this later, but in the meantime we hope the extension of the shortcut method continues to provide administrative support for clients finding themselves working from home in unprecedented times.” 

Speaking on behalf of H&R Block Australia, director of tax communications Mark Chapman said while the retail accounting network welcomes the extension to the work-from-home shortcut, they remain concerned about the lack of clarity surrounding the ATO’s comments about the fixed rate method.

“We, at H&R Block Australia, welcome this announcement. It’s good to see taxpayers given certainty about the 80¢ rate for the current year,” Mr Chapman said.

“However, the proposal by the ATO to ‘modernise the 52¢ per hour fixed rate method and make it easier and simpler to use’ from 2022/23 looks ominous.

“We would not wish to see anything which leads to a reduction in the amount claimable in the name of ‘simplification’.”

More to come.

Accountants circle ‘ominous’ changes to ATO fixed-rate method
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Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media and editor of the company's legal publication, Lawyers Weekly.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015 and has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia. In addition, she has produced exclusive multimedia and event content related to the company's respective brands and audiences.

A journalist by training, Emma has spent her career connecting with key industry stakeholders across a variety of platforms, including online, podcast and radio. She graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism).

Tax&Compliance