Claiming covid related work expenses on your individual tax return in 2022

People across different industries may have various items for work that they can claim a deduction on their tax returns for. Still, this season may see a few common occurrences across individual tax returns for 2022.

On your individual tax return this year, you may notice a few expenses pertaining to COVID-19-related purchases, such as masks, hand sanitisers and RATs tests that you may be able to claim (depending on your circumstances). These deductions may have specific conditions and requirements that you must meet, and failure to comply may result in the Australian Taxation Office disallowing these claims.

Masks and hand sanitiser are claimable deductions for those who have required them to work in their industry (e.g. retail, hospitality, education). This is because you can claim these as PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), but they must be directly connected to how you earn your income (for example, many State governments mandated at various points last year that hospitality workers were required to wear masks while working). If your place of employment did not provide this PPE to you, and you had to purchase it yourself, it may be claimable.

Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) must be purchased for work-related purposes. There have been plans to specifically allow deductions for Covid-19 tests such as RATs by the Government to be claimed on individual tax returns.

Legislation is scheduled to be introduced on 1 July to address this. However, a COVID-19 RAT test can still be claimable for work-related purposes if you have purchased it for a work-related reason or to be able to attend your place of work.

When claiming a deduction, it is crucial that you keep accurate records (such as receipts) to provide evidence of your purchase and that your employer didn’t reimburse you for these purchases. If your employer did reimburse you, you would not be able to claim it back.

If you were working from home during 2021, you might be able to claim back some of the expenses related to this work. One of the ways that you may be able to do so is by using one of the available methods to claim 80 cents per hour for each hour worked from home (from 01 March 2020 to 30 June 2022). Importantly, this includes everything – you don’t need to make other claims for work from home items such as phone, internet, stationery or furniture/equipment depreciation separately.

Depending on your circumstances, choosing the wrong method means you could cheat yourself out of big dollars on your tax return. Discuss your situation with your trusted tax agent to understand what exactly is required from you in the lead up to tax return time.

If you need assistance with this book a free consultation with us.


The information contained in this publication is for general information purposes only, and does not take into consideration your individual circumstances. You should obtain personalised professional advice before acting upon any information contained herein. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we accept no responsibility for any loss incurred by any person directly or indirectly due to any action taken or refrained from as a consequence of the contents of this publication.

About The Author

Adrian Monarca
Adrian is Co-Founder, CFO, and the Principal Accountant at Float Accounting.