Have you needed to set up a home office, because of this global pandemic?
Due to Covid19 instead of only independent contractors and commission-earners claiming home office expenses, SARS has confirmed that this tax relief will now apply to full time employees as well who fall within these specific conditions as per the Income tax Act.
What requirements do I need to meet to apply?
You must practice a “trade” – by being employed this criterion is fulfilled
Your home office must be specifically equipped for you to do your job – for example, having a computer, broadband, printer, desk, and chair etc.
Your home office is regularly and exclusively used by you so that you can carry out your job – this means that you wouldn’t spend time with your family watching TV, eating or relaxing in your “office”
More than 50% of your work needs to be performed in the home office – you must work from home for at least six months of the tax year.
What am I allowed to claim?
If the above criteria have been met, then you may deduct a percentage of:
Rental or bond interest on your home and home repairs,
Municipal rates, electricity, and water
Wear and tear on office equipment (SARS has differing depreciation rates on computer equipment and office furniture).
The expenses incurred in running your home office such as cell phone, bandwidth, equipment repairs, stationery and cleaning are not specified in the Income Tax Act, therefore it is better that your employer reimburse you for these expenses.