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Claiming a computer as a tax deduction

If you use a piece of equipment, such as a computer, for work related activities then you may be able to claim it as a tax deduction. If the item is valued at over $300 then you cannot claim the entire cost in the year of purchase. Instead, you will need to calculate the depreciation in value each year.

When equipment is used for both professional and personal use, as computers so often are, then you can only claim a tax deduction for the equivalent portion that is used for professional purposes. For example, if you use the computer half for work and half for leisure then you may only claim half of the value of the depreciation of the computer as a tax deduction.

The ATO has indicated that it will be focusing on tech related expenses this year, with a particular focus on ensuring that individuals accurately report the work/personal breakdown of use. It is advisable to retain all documentation, including diary entries if necessary, relating to the use of a computer you are claiming as a tax deduction.

There are also other costs associated with a computer used for work purposes that can be used as tax deductions, such as the interest paid on a loan for a computer or the cost of repairs. Upgrades cannot be claimed as repairs and, if they cost over $300, should be included as a separate depreciating expense.

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