Skip to content

You are here:

Home office vs a workroom at home

The so-called ‘home office blanket deduction’ was introduced in the German 2020 Annual Tax Act as an instrument for mitigating the consequences of the pandemic. The German tax legislator relaxed the previously strict requirements relating to the deduction of costs for a workspace at home.

A workroom at home

Expenses may be deducted for a workroom at home if, among other things, no other workspace for the business or professional activities is available and, furthermore, there is a self-contained room. Frequently, at least one of these two requirements cannot be fulfilled so that many taxpayers are not able to benefit by deducting the costs for a workspace in the private home as work-related costs or business expenses.

Home office blanket deduction

In the context of the pandemic, a vast number of people had to work from home in order to reduce the risk of infection. In this respect, German lawmakers took this situation into account when they introduced a so-called ‘home office blanket deduction’; accordingly, taxpayers were able to deduct € 5 per calendar day on which business or professional activities had been carried out solely at home and no workplace outside of it had been frequented. The maximum amount that could be deducted was set at €600 in the assessment year.

There is no requirement here to provide proof of a workroom at home so that the business or professional activities may also be performed in, for example, a living room or dining room. The blanket deduction covers all the expenses for the use of the home. An itemised list of costs is not necessary.

There is another option

If the home constitutes the focus of the entire business or professional activities and the other criteria for a workroom in the home have been satisfied then the taxpayer will have the possibility of choosing whether they wish to deduct work-related costs or make use of the home office blanket deduction. The taxpayer will also be able to choose between the above two options even if the home does not constitute the focus of the entire business or professional activities but there is no workspace available in an office. In this case, the work-related costs deduction on the basis of actual costs would be limited to €1,250. 

Please note: You should make use of the home office blanket deduction if the duly documented actual costs are below €5 per day. Although, you do not have to opt for the blanket deduction consistently for the whole year as it is possible to switch between the home office blanket deduction basis and the actual work-related costs over the course of the year.

Back to top of page