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According to South African financial services provider TaxTim, individuals that have been working from home for the past year can claim a tax deduction from SARS for more than half the total working hours or for more than six months during the tax year that started in March 2020.
Individuals that have been working from home for the past year can claim a tax deduction from SARS for more than half the total working hours or for more than six months during the tax year that started in March 2020
Elani van der Westhuizen, senior tax technical at TaxTim provides insight into the period that individuals working from home can claim a tax deduction from.
“Claim for your home office if you started working from home at the end of March, and worked there for at least 6 months till the end of February 2021, to deduct this benefit in the tax year.”
There are several requirements to access the tax deduction from working from home.
TaxTim has outlined these requirements below:
- Individuals must have spent more than half of their total working hours working from your home office
- A viable letter from your employer that states that one can work from home and confirms the percentage of time spent there
- There is an exclusive space in one’s home dedicated to a working space
- The at-home office space is equipped with the necessary tools, instruments, tools, and equipment for work.
If the following requirements are met, applicants can claim the following
- Interest on their bond
- Repairs to the premises
- Rates and taxes
- Water and electricity
- Data Usage
- Wear and tear of office equipment and any other expenses relating to ones house.
“To determine your home office deduction, calculate the total square meterage of your home office in relation to the total square meterage of your home and convert this to a percentage. This percentage is then applied to the home office expenditure to calculate the portion that is deductible.” adds van der Westhuizen
In addition, individuals who work from home that earn a commission of more than 50% of their total salary can also claim for other commission-related business expenses including a phone bill, internet, stationery, and printer repairs.
A home office expense calculator is offered by TaxTim to help individuals calculate their expense claims.
It is important to note that these claims will be not be listed on a SARS auto assessment and one must ensure that they add these to their tax return themselves.
“This situation is different for sole proprietors or freelancers who work from home because they can automatically deduct all their home office expenses. They also do not have to meet the same stringent conditions to qualify for a deduction,” concludes van der Westhuizen says.
In addition, if an employer reimburses their employees working from home costs then said costs are not taxable.
Featured image: vadim kaipov via Unsplash