Home office tax deduction in german tax return

Last Updated on May 31, 2022

Wolf, goats and cabbage – an old task in a new way. How do you combine a fully online high school kid, a part-time elementary school child, a dad in a home office who needs complete silence and not run around rooms, and an 11-month-old baby running around – in three rooms?

Fortunately, the hard work for solution of this difficult logistics challenge will be rewarded. The government allowed to write off days in bedlam home office at 5 euros per day.

More details about how to deduct home office expenses from taxes.

All I can return from tax: A-D, E-H, I-N, P-W, Außergewöhnliche Belastungen
Introduction in thema “German tax return”
Mantelbogen
Anlage N Part 1, Part 2, Anlage N-Aus, Anlage Wa-Est, Homeoffice
Anlage Kind
Anlage Vorsorgeaufwand
Anlage Sonderausgaben
Anlage Haushaltnahe Diensleistungen 35a
Anlage EÜR

Let me remind you that I am not a professional tax consultant. Declarations are considered from the point of view of an ordinary user: a family with children and one working person of average income.

Conditions

It doesn’t matter if the work room is equipped or you nestle in the hallway on the rug.

There used to be outrageous injustice. People with better living conditions got the opportunity to write off. Others, also having the expense of organizing their rug, using own electricity and water and at the same time suffering significant inconvenience, had not an opportunity to write off.

Where

The form of income tax declaration was not changed for home office pauschale for year 2020. So there is no special line for home office.

It was recommended to enter the paushal in line 47 Anlage N and write something like “Homeoffice Pauschal 100 Tage – 500 Euro”.

For year 2021 there is a special line – line 45

How much

At 5 euros per day, but not more than 600 euros per year. Employees who do not have an electronic time tracking system are encouraged to do a table of attendance at work / home.

But this pauschal sum is added up with other Werbungskosten. And deducted only what exceeds 1000 euros of the usual pauschal sum. The purchased work materials, as before, are added to the total amount. That is, they are not included in this 600 euros.

You can find a list of Werbungskosten here. How to write them off – here.

For example, you bought a computer for 750 euros (50 percent use for work), traveled to work for 625 euros and worked at home for 200 euros = you will deduct 200 euros.

Of course, you cannot write off the same day as a home office and as way to work.


Those who bought an annual transport pass are losing a lot. And no pauschal sum will help here, since for long distances, 5 euros is less than the amount charged for the distance. And they cannot comfort themselves with the fact that the car stays in the garage and does not eat gasoline.

Does the cost of internet and phone go dazu?

Contradictory information about whether it is possible to add the Internet and telephone. That is, whether they are included in the pauschal. In some recommendations they quote the words of one of the politicians that the pauschal-sum just compensates for this cost. In others they directly write that it is possible. And in some recommendations they get off with the old rules.

Under the old rules, you were supposed to have a job that expect using a phone outside of work. For example, being a teacher or calling people.

On one site they wrote that since we were sent to the home office, it means that we are becoming such workers. Here is my personal question. What if the home office was only recommended and not ordered? My husband had several levels of restriction at work, ranging from “preferably stay at home” to “only show up at work when absolutely necessary”. For example for the workroom there is a restriction that the home office must be ordered, not recommended.

Although I think the Finanzamt will not pick on this year. However, the question of whether the telephone / Internet is included in the pauschal still remains.I feel that the consultants themselves are not very sure yet.

There are two ways to deduct.

  1. 20 percent of expenses monthly, but not more than 20 euros per month. Each month must be counted separately. Here I have a question to which I did not see the answer at all. What to do for half a month here – half a month there?
  2. You calculate the actual usage as a percentage. In this case, the write-off amount is not limited. And you can write off more types of expenses, for example, for repairs.

Since I still always wait for the Nebenkosten for my tax return, I will check this issue. The price is not too high. For the majority it will be 6-9 euros per month, and even if the whole month is spent at the home office. And if you calculate the percentage of the presence of the house, then in general you get a penny.

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Time of action

So far, only 2020-2021.

What to do with the workroom (Arbeitszimmer)?

Continue to write it off as before if you have it. To do this, the workroom must respond strict Finanzamt’s rules – it must be used exclusively for work. Therefore a multi-functional guest room or bedroom is not suitable.

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