More bang for your buck this tax time

Consider hiring a tax professional to help you lodge your taxes this end of financial year. (iStock)

How to take the stress out of tax returns and maximise your refund

Tax expert Mark Chapman from H&R Block shares his top tips to maximise your tax return.

After a confusing and turbulent series of restrictions, it may not be very clear to those who have worked from home what tax deductions they can and cannot claim.

If you have spent some of the past financial year working from home, there is a variety of deductions you can make this tax time.

You can usually claim a tax deduction for work-related portions of the following:

Heating, cooling and lighting costs.

Costs of cleaning your home’s working area, including cleaning products or payments for a domestic cleaner, if required.

Depreciation of home office furniture and fittings.

Costs of repairing home office equipment, furniture and furnishings.

Depreciation of office equipment and computers.

Small capital items such as furniture and computer equipment costing less than $300, which can be written off in full, immediately, without depreciating.

Computer consumables (such as printer cartridges(+) and stationary.

Phone (mobile or landline) and internet expenses.

You should ideally have a specific room in your home set aside for home office use. If you are using a room with a dual purpose (e.g. dining room) or a room in the house shared with others (e.g. lounge room), you can only claim the expenses for the hours you had exclusive use of the area.

Likewise with other dual-use items or products, such as stationary used partly for work and partly for private purposes, you can only claim the work-use portion of these items.

To be certain that your tax return is completed properly, consider enlisting the help of experts and accountants, such as those at H&R Block.