By Sanette Viljoen
If you are working from home the opportunity exists for you to receive some relief from the receiver of revenue. The costs of working from home can often be deducted and taken into account when you submit your tax returns. However, unfortunately it’s not that simple. There are some rules that apply and conditions that have to be met.
There are different kinds of workers and this benefit does not apply to everyone. The person must work from home full-time and not, for example, once a week. This tax benefit applies to contract and freelance workers who work from home permanently.
The room where you work may also not have a double purpose and must only be used for work purposes. You may therefore not use your dining room table or simply sit and work in front of the television.
To receive tax benefits because you are working from home, a lot of verifying documentation is required, including invoices of all your expenses, a detailed statement of the number of days that you have indeed worked from home, as well as proof that an agreement was reached with your employer, which indicates that you were instructed to work from home.
If you do qualify for this benefit, the surface area of your home office determines the percentage of the expenses you can reclaim. If, therefore, your office takes up 20% of your home, you can reclaim 20% of your running costs, such as rental and electricity.
However, Also be careful before claiming these tax benefits. The day you sell your home, the section you used as an office will not form part of the exemption of the R2 million on which, for example, you would not pay capital gain tax. So make your calculations and then decide whether these tax benefits are still worth your while.