Answers to COVID-19 work-from-home expense questions and CGT concerns
There are many questions being asked lately about claiming expenses when being asked to work from home over the COVID-19 period, plus a lot of concern about any consequent capital gain issues when later selling a property from which people have been coerced to work from during this time.
CAPITAL GAINS: First of all, the CGT issue is fairly straight forward. The ATO says that in most cases, if you are working from home as an employee, regardless of whether or not you have a separate work area, there will be no CGT implications on any later sale or disposal of the home. This is the case even if you claim home office expenses using the new COVID-19 shortcut method (more below).
However CGT may apply if you are running a business from home and, as a result, you can claim occupancy expenses (like mortgage interest repayments or rates). In this case, you will generally only be entitled to a partial CGT exemption because of using part of your home as a place of business.