How to claim against tax for home office expenses
If you've suddenly been forced to work from home due to the coronavirus crisis, there could be a tax break waiting for you. Under South African tax rules, the cost of working from home is an expense you can offset against the money you earn by doing so.
But if you go back to the office before the end of September, you may miss out.
Those who qualify can claim all their expenses in working from home, including airtime, electricity, and even a part of their rent or mortgage payments, say Remuneration Consultants South Africa's Darren Britz and Laurence Mbokwane.
Home office expenses are certainly deductible but only if certain circumstances are met and the extent to which it is deductible depends on how you ran your income.Jean du Toit, Tax attorney
For the most part, if you are a freelancer or you are a sole proprietor you can automatically deduct your expenses but that changes if you are an employee and further requirements must be met if you want to claim those deductions.Jean du Toit, Tax attorney
As a general rule, no matter how you earn your income, the home office in question must specifically be equipped for your trade and must be regularly and exclusively used for that purpose.Jean du Toit, Tax attorney
You must have a separate office designated for that purpose. For example, if you meet clients at your dining room table that space will not qualify as a home office.Jean du Toit, Tax attorney
Du Toit says the most difficult part is proving to the South African Receiver of Revenue that you have a separate office to your house exclusively used for that purpose.
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