How to deduct home office costs from taxes

As a result of the change from office to home office, many employees have had to set up a workspace at home at their own expense. If certain conditions are met, the infrastructure costs to provide said home office costs may be deducted in the tax return. Do you want to claim home office deductions? Inform yourself now about home office tax savings.

bench-accounting-C3V88BOoRoM-unsplash (1).jpg

In addition to the mask requirement and the ban on large events, the home office recommendation is one of the many measures to combat the coronavirus. Instead of going to the office, many people now work from home. A change that not only affects the everyday live of people, but also their working expenses. On the one hand, the commute to work has been eliminated, and on the other hand, private work premises had to be created. In addition, canteen meals have been replaced by home-cooked food. Now what are the effects of these changes on the tax return?

Claiming a share of the rent

Under certain circumstances, you may deduct the rental costs for a room used as a home office from taxes. However, several requirements must be met in order to do so. Deductions can only be claimed if a substantial portion of the work is done from home. "A substantial portion" means at least 40 percent of a full-time workload. Anyone who works full-time and does so from home at least two days a week thus meets the first requirement to claim the rental costs for a study in the tax return. However, this only applies if the employer does not already provide usable workplaces.

Exclusive use as an office

In order for the rental costs to be claimed on a pro rata basis, the room used must serve exclusively as an office. Anyone who works in the living room or bedroom, for example, is not entitled to a deduction. The criterion of exclusive office use is applied strictly. A sofa bed in the room used as office, for example, prevents the deductibility. In addition, it is required that the infrastructure costs incurred are not reimbursed by the employer. How exactly the deductible costs are calculated varies from canton to canton. Those affected are therefore best advised to contact the cantonal tax office for information on the applicable regulations.

No professional expense deductions possible

There is one catch. If you decide to deduct home office costs from your taxes, you cannot claim a lump sum deductions for professional expenses as well. Travel costs, such as the SBB season ticket or petrol, as well as additional costs for meals away from home cannot be deducted additionally.

Those affected must therefore make a choice with regard to home office tax deductions: either they can claim the proportionate rental costs or a lump-sum deduction for professional expenses.

Did you know? Expenses for self-cooked meals in the home office are not deductible.

Do you need help with home office tax savings? The taxea specialists are at your disposal with their comprehensive expertise

Source :