By Kaya 959 News
Did you know that if you’ve been working from home, you can get money back from the South African Revenue Services?
According to senior tax technical at TaxTrim, Elani van der Westhuizen, you can claim a tax deduction if you worked from home for more than half of your total working hours or for more than six months during the tax year that started in March 2020.
“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,” she explained.
Van der Westhuizen said if someone qualifies to claim they can make use of the TaxTim home office expense calculator.
Do you meet the minimum requirements?
However, before using the calculator, it is important to ensure that you meet these minimum requirements as explained in the TaxTim home office decision tree:
- You have spent more than half of your total working hours working from your home office
- If you have a letter from your employer that states that you can work from home and confirms the percentage of time you spent there
- You have an area of your home exclusively used and set up for work
- Your office is specifically equipped with the relevant instruments, tools and equipment needed to do your work.
What can you claim for?
If you meet these requirements, you can claim rent or interest on your bond, repairs to the premises, rates and taxes, water and electricity, cleaning, data usage, wear and tear of office equipment and all other expenses relating to your house only.
If you earn a commission that is more than 50% of your total salary, you can also claim for other commission-related business expenses, such as a phone, internet, stationery and printer repairs. (More home office expenses information.)
“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. TaxTim’s home office expense calculator can do this for you,” she said.
Van der Westhuizen warned that these claims will not be listed on their SARS auto assessment and therefore it is important to ensure that you add these to your tax return yourself.
She said 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, van der Westhuizen said.
For help completing your tax returns go to www.taxtim.com