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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the home office has become a widely discussed topic. Even companies that previously relied exclusively on office work had to switch to this. The bottom line: with the right equipment, work can also work from home. But what if it is not enough that the computer is taken home from the office and further technology is required? Can people working in the home office deduct this as part of their tax return? Here you can find information on the topic.
A few basic things are needed so that the office set up (spontaneously) at home also means that you can get to work without major problems. An ergonomic office chair definitely pays off - anyone who has worked for a week while sitting on an inflexible kitchen chair will know that.
In addition to a workplace that is as healthy as possible, it must of course also offer potential for good productivity and communication with the rest of the company's employees. Software solutions such as Slack, Zoom, Jitsi, FaceTime and Co. must be supported by the hardware. A new acquisition has to fix it in case of doubt.
Where the old office computer tends to reach its limits or at least lacks basic equipment such as a camera and microphone, new office technology offers the necessary prerequisites. A new MacBook, a new iMac or a new iPhone (almost as a small all-rounder) is ideal here. If you do not get the devices from the company, you have to buy them yourself in case of doubt.
And here the question quickly arises: Can I deduct my new iPhone for the home office from tax? The answer is yes - at least if the need and professional use can be demonstrated. This can be done, for example, via a corresponding letter from the executive suite, which is attached to the tax return.
Note: Ask your tax advisor for details; this contribution is not legal advice and therefore without guarantee for the individual case.
The costs for a study in your own apartment can also be deducted. The emphasis is clearly on "study". So that the rental and ancillary costs can be deducted from this area, it must be a single and preferably lockable room.
The desk in the living room or the kitchen table cannot be deducted from tax, even if the bread rolls to be eaten in the morning are earned there eight hours a day. Due to the corona situation, however, efforts are being made to soften this regulation; for example from the Federation of Taxpayers eV.
The smartphone can play an important role for self-employed and freelancers as well as for employees in the home office. About team software like Slack, about FaceTime and messenger apps as well as other apps and tools, the workforce can work together, exchange work results and even hold video conferences. The iPhone, an iPad or a new MacBook can therefore definitely be part of the important work equipment.
Since only part of the cost can be written off, the price naturally plays an important role. It is therefore advisable to compare prices - for example using the free price comparison at Verivox. The comparison portal lists a large number of possible offers including suitable mobile phone contracts. In this way, the monthly costs can already be planned in and deductible portions can be discussed with tax advisors. An iPhone with a cellular contract is definitely cheaper than buying a single device.
If there is a retrospective change in the possibility of leaving the home office, then you can prepare for it now. For example, you should document your current work situation, the area used for the (improvised) office and the daily or average working hours. You also have to keep all bills and receipts for office furniture, office technology, electricity costs, etc.
You can find more tips for working in the home office in these articles:
After graduating from high school, Johannes completed an apprenticeship as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which resulted in his independence. For several years he has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others. His articles include product introductions, news, manuals, video games, consoles, and more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.