With the major shift in priorities, we’ve seen new challenges and renewed processes during the workplace transition to home. In saying so, it’s easy to overlook simple steps that can easily help reduce costs- print costs being one of them.
Most of us have now experienced the pros and cons of working from home, and one of the biggest benefits that could add to our bottom line is tax deductions. There are some serious savings to be made around your printing costs if you learn the rules. Find out which office expenses you can claim as a legitimate deduction, and those to avoid.
We’ve addressed five simple considerations to make when it comes to reducing print costs for you and/ or your business.
If you use a printer or scanner for work, and you’re working from home with your own equipment, it’s likely you can make a tax claim. However, there are some rules.
You can only claim for the business use percentage of time you use your printer/scanner for work purposes. So, if you only use your home printer/scanner for uploading old photos or printing out recipes, you don’t have a claim.
However, if you can keep a diary of how much you use your printer/scanner for work, over four weeks, and present a proof of purchase, you are eligible to make a claim to the ATO.
You need to decide if you’re better off making a claim as a one-off or depreciation over time on your equipment. And it’s an easy decision to make because it all comes down to cost.
If your machine cost less than $300 you can claim the business use percentage of the purchase price as a one-off deduction.
If you spent more than $300 – and remember, you need proof of purchase – you are eligible to claim depreciation over the life of the equipment, which the ATO stipulates is four years. Click here for more ATO guidelines on depreciating assets.
If you pay a monthly fee or lease equipment that is necessary for you to perform your role in a business, you can claim the portion of the costs of the lease that is business related.
It’s worth noting that owned or leased, if you’re making a business use percentage claim on a printer or scanner, the ATO can ask for proof that you need the equipment for work. If your business has equipment at work for you to use, and does not require you to work from home, or if they have supplied you with a company-owned machine, you are not eligible to make a claim.
Most of the machines we use from home for work – phones, laptops, printer/scanners etc. – all require internet access, which costs money.
But you can’t claim your whole internet bill as a tax deduction. To do this you’d have to convince the ATO that you don’t use the internet at all for personal use, so any online shopping, news websites you access, or Googling where to go on your next minibreak, will prove you wrong.
You are however able to claim a business use percentage of your internet costs, and as with your equipment above, you need to keep a diary and make an educated estimate.
Two of the biggest, ongoing costs related to printing are, of course, paper and ink. While you might not think about this too much in the office, working from home highlights how much you as an individual are spending on these two print needs. And if you’re footing the bill, you’re going to want to make a claim.
If you are spending money on paper and ink, keep proof of purchase. You will need to prove the business use percentage of these costs, so again keep a diary so you have the documentation to back up any claim you make.
Tax claims are one of the many ways in getting dollars back in your pocket. At Konica Minolta, we offer a range of print management solutions that can further help reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve sustainability. Click here to learn more about our business solutions and services.
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