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COVID-19: ATO reminder of things to consider

The ATO has issued a media release highlighting certain COVID-19 related matters that should be taken into account when preparing tax returns this tax time. Items highlighted include the following:



  • COVID-19 work-related expenses – from 1 July 2021, COVID-19 tests for work-related purposes (such as to determine “fit-for-work” status) are deductible (though reasonable evidence or proof of purchase is still required). Cost of protective items that protect against risk of illness or injury while performing work duties may also be deductible; visit Protective items, equipment and products for more information or check out the ATO app.


  • Jobseeker – JobSeeker payments are taxable and will be automatically pre-filled in tax returns at the Government Allowances and Payments label once they are ready. If taxpayers choose to lodge before the information is pre-filled, it will need to be added manually.


  • COVID-19 disaster payment for people affected by restrictions – the Government’s COVID-19 disaster payment (delivered through Services Australia) is not taxable. It does not need to be included in tax returns.


  • Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments – the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is taxable. Tax returns will not be pre-filled with these payments and they will require manual input.

Source: CPA Australia

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