Dealing with the global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people live and work around the country and the world. If you are one of the many people who has been working remotely in recent months, either full-time or at an increased rate, you have felt the impact these differences day after day. You may have discovered that improving your home office setup has required extra purchases. Fortunately, there is tax relief available to make these assets easier to afford.

Recent moves by the Australian Taxation Office have opened up tax deductions on home office equipment such as printers and scanners, as well as the consumables needed to keep these devices running, including toner cartridges. These are part of an overall scheme to help formerly office-based workers cope with regularly contributing from home. Considering this financial advantage, and the fact that remote work seems poised to become a much more regular part of the normal routine going forward, it’s a great time to stock up on necessities for your own workspace.

How does the tax deduction work?

The ATO’s temporary changes to claiming work-expense exemptions apply to items you buy yourself, rather than ones that are provided by your employer. Home office equipment, in general, is included in the scheme, which means PCs, printers and other devices are all eligible. Items that cost up to $300 are deductible at their full price, while you can claim the depreciation on ones that are more costly.

These items are rolled up into an overall home office expense calculation. For the moment, the ATO allows employees to use a shortcut method, along with its normal fixed-rate and actual-cost versions.

What kinds of equipment and consumables should you buy?

As there is a tax deduction in place to help you thrive from a home office, now is the ideal time to set yourself up for remote-work success. This means carefully selecting the devices that will help you most in the months and years ahead, keeping your work organised and helping you communicate with the rest of your team, wherever they are working from.

While there are unique device requirements and specialties based on your role and responsibilities, the following are a few safe bets that will fit perfectly into nearly any company’s remote strategy.

Modern printers with green features

Your savings don’t have to stop with the tax deduction. You can also cut your energy and consumables budgets, while also protecting the planet, if you buy a home printer with eco-friendly settings. Printers that can go into low-power sleep modes, coupled with optional features such as defaulting to two-sided printing, can cut down on your paper, toner and electricity consumption. These printers demonstrate that using physical documents can be done in a conscientious way.

Easy-to-use, secure scanners

To ensure information you create and store at home can be accessed easily by your colleagues, you can select a powerful scanner or multi-function device for your home office. Saving important papers in versatile formats such as editable PDF and uploading them to secure document management systems allows collaborative work to go on unimpeded as employees contribute from their own homes.

Mobile printers or scanners

When you’re moving between more than one location rather than always working from home, it pays to have devices that can go with you. Fortunately, the latest generation mobile hardware is here to make this flexible work style possible. When you have access to a scanner or printer small enough to tuck into a briefcase, your options for remote work multiply.

Toner and paper

Now isn’t just a time to purchase a new device, it’s also the ideal moment to add the supplies you’ll need to print for months to come.

While the disruption brought to work styles by COVID-19 and its aftermath has been severe, there are ways for you and your colleagues to adapt. Having the right printers and other devices is a great start. Check-in with your Accountant or Financial Advisor for advice on how best to proceed, then reach out to Brother if you need insight or inspiration on selecting the right devices for your business.

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