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Stephen K.
Stephen K.
Nundah, QLD

I bought a $2,500 laptop for a University Thesis in 2014/15 financial year. I've realised that I've actually been using it to work from home from 2015 to present (2017). My questions are:

a) I didn't initially purchase it for work use. Because I have been, is this claimable?
b) If it claimable, I've never claimed this expense previously, can I claim depreciation for the past years as well?

3 years ago


the use of the laptop determines whether or not its deductible, so the short answer is yes you can.....or at least a portion of the usage based on how much you use it for work v how much for private.

You cant claim last years depreciation in this years return, but you can request an amendment to your prior year return.......you probably have a short period of review....which is ATO-ese for you can only go back 2 years unless you have complex tax issues. this means if you are going to amend returns you need to get moving!

Also the ATO depreciation rate on a laptop is 66%.....so the depreciation would have been something like this:
2014-15 $1650
2015-16 $561
2016-17 $191

you can only claim a PORTION of this, so the question is: is it worth the pain? how much of your usage is work related??

If your income was under $80k then the actual tax benefit to you would be possibly not enough to justify paying a tax agent to do an amendment for you......however you can lodge your own. have a look at this:



have fun with it


Hi Brendan,

Just wanted to thank you for your advice I really do appreciate it and also give you some information about what I ended up doing as I think you might find it interesting.

Through the ATO tax lodge portal for this years 2017 tax return I filled out the online Depreciation Tool for my laptop which I could then save and apply to my tax return. I used the Prime Cost method, which split the costs evenly over the 3 years of depreciation so that I could claim more for this year than I could have if I had used the Diminishing Cost method.

I then tried to amend my previous years tax returns, but when I went in to the 2015/16 tax return, it had already applied the depreciation for the laptop based on the depreciation tool that I filled out in this years 2017 tax return. While I'm still awaiting the tax notice it seems as though by filling out the online depreciation tool it has amended the previous tax returns that it's relevant to.

Hi There

Brendan just gave you excellent advice. I'd follow it. I have nothing to add.


Hey thanks for the feedback Stephen, that is interesting about the apparrant automatic amendments using myGov (I presume)???
If this is actually the case then its a massive time-saver for you!!!

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