A brand new financial year is upon us which means it is tax time bébés. It’s time to remember everything you spent money on in the last 12 months, cry and then breathe a sigh of relief knowing that at least some of that money will *hopefully* be coming back in your tax return.

The 2021-22 financial year was a rough one, with a lot of us in lockdown for a solid chunk of it. That also meant working from home more, which the blessed suits at the Australian Tax Office recognised. They made a shortcut to help everyone easily claim some cash back on all the bills and resources workplaces normally cover.

Pre-pandemic, and again from July 1 2022 onwards, the normal procedure to claiming office expenses is pretty complicated if your home is your office. It requires keeping track of all your bills and breaking down your hours in the day by hours worked. Fractions? No thanks.

Although of course you do you, breaking it all down could work out better for your tax return. We legally cannot provide financial advice.

This time you also have the option to simply claim 80 cents per hour worked from home for your running expenses. This can include electricity and gas expenses associated with heating, cooling and lighting, cleaning expenses, phone bills, internet, home office furniture, stationery, computers consumables, laptops, printers and tablets.

You’re not required to keep receipts or calculate the specific costs, but you do need to note down the number of hours you’ve worked.

Forgot to do that? Didn’t we all. So allow us to help.

Lockdowns were pretty short in most Australian cities in the second half of 2021 and no one’s had any in 2022.

Melbourne and Sydney residents, however, spent a lot of the second half of 2021 at home and this Melb gal has completely lost track/mentally erased when we were restricted. So let’s relive the trauma!

Melbourne lockdown dates in the 2021-22 financial year

Lockdown five: Friday July 16 2021 to Tuesday July  27 2021. A total of 12 calendar days or eight working days.

Lockdown six: Thursday August 5 2021 to Thursday October 21 2021. A total of 77 calendar days or 46 working days. Crying.

Sydney lockdown dates in the 2021-22 financial year

Sydney city-wide winter lockdown: Wednesday August 11 to Monday October 11. A total of 61 calendar days or 43 working days.

But if you lived or worked in the LGAs of Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick, and the City of Sydney, your lockdown started on June 25 so tack on an extra 47 calendar days or 33 working days. Ooft.

Of course other restrictions hung around between lockdowns, so take a look here for NSW and Victoria if other rules effected your return to the workplace.

If you live in SA, WA, ACT, NT, Queensland or Tasmania you can take a squiz at your 2021 lockdown dates here.

Need to do some more tax return calculations? Use this online business day calculator.