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Working from home tax extension comes not a moment too soon

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand is welcoming the extension of working from home tax changes but says the latest Covid lockdown shows New Zealand needs permanent tax policy around working from home as our new way of working is here to stay.

“The extension of tax relief for employers with employees working from home comes not a moment too soon, given the latest Covid lockdowns,” says Chartered Accountants NZ Tax Leader John Cuthbertson.

“The latest lockdown shows that our new way of working is here to stay, and that a permanent working from home tax policy is needed."

“This is the third time we’ve extended and modified working from home determinations – it’s time for a legislative fix.”

As people start working from home, they incur more expenses on utilities such as internet, power and heating. Under the extended determination, employers have the option to reimburse employees $20 per week tax free, before needing evidence of the expenses.

“One benefit of the new determination is that the previously fragmented tax advice on working from home is now combined.”

“The public should note that the ‘bring your own device’ tax guidance is in this determination, even though it’s not strictly limited to working from home. There is a natural fit for it to be here.”

“The determination also has been extended until 2023, and as before there is no need to relate working from home expenses to Covid lockdowns – the guidance applies no matter what the reason for working from home is.”

“Of course, employers wanting to reimburse staff for higher actual costs whilst working from home can do so, but they need to keep accurate, detailed records.”

For more information on working from home tax settings, speak with your Chartered Accountant today or visit www.ird.govt.nz.

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