Working from home – can you claim?
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Business owners, sole proprietors, independent contractors and commission-based earners (if more than 50% of your annual income is commission-based) who are working from home have various tax deductions at their disposal.
Salaried employees, on the other hand, regardless of working from home, are limited in their options to claim deductions for expenses incurred.
However, all is not lost; the Income Tax Act does provide for an employee to claim if you:
- are earning a salary but using your home office regularly and exclusively to perform work for your employer;
- spend more than 50% of your total working hours working from your home office and;
- have a home-office that consists of a dedicated workspace or office specifically set aside (not your dining-room table, for example).
It’s important to remember that the current tax submission relates to the 2020 tax year (ending 29 February 2020 before lockdown); things might look a lot different when it comes to submitting the following year’s tax return.
Many salaried employees will most definitely spend more than 50% of their total working hours in their home offices. Working at home from the start of lockdown until September would give you grounds to claim, but we’ll have to see if Sars changes the goalposts.
Time to move off the dining-room table?