For tax deductibility to be an option the workroom has to be a separate, self-contained room and has to be used almost exclusively for business purposes; a low level of joint use of the room of up to10 % would not be detrimental from a tax point of view. If the workroom constitutes the focus of the entire business and professional activities then the proportionate costs incurred for the workroom can now be fully deducted. Proof would possibly have to be provided for the individual costs.
Please note: Until 31.12.2022, the workroom did not have to constitute the focus of the entire business and professional activities; the deduction was then limited to €1,250 of the documented costs.
Alternatively, since 2023, it has been possible to deduct a blanket allowance in the amount of €1,260 annually to cover workroom costs. However, for every full month when the workroom conditions are not satisfied the blanket allowance has to be reduced by one twelfth in each case. If several people live in one household then the blanket allowance can be deducted for each person where the conditions for deductibility have been satisfied (personal blanket allowance).
If the employer makes an additional workstation available then this would not preclude the deduction of costs for the workroom at home. The workroom at home would still constitute the focus of the entire professional activities even if the employee had to perform their professional activities at a workstation at home for three days each week and for two days in the employer’s workplace (Federal Fiscal Court ruling of 23.5.2006, Federal Law Gazette II. p. 600). In this case, the work performed in the workplace and in the workroom at home has to be of equivalent quality.
Please note: The legal situation in respect of the focus of work activities has hitherto remained unchanged. That is why the case law that the fiscal administration has followed up to now has continued to apply since 1.1.2023. Nevertheless, in this regard it remains to be seen how the case law will develop further since the wording of the legislation has now been tightened up.
Home office blanket allowance
The home office blanket allowance can be deducted on those days when the business and professional activities are carried out mainly from home and no primary workplace is frequented. If an outside appointment is attended then this would not be harmful for the deductibility of the home office blanket allowance. In such a case, both the blanket allowance and the travel costs may be deducted.
For each home office day a blanket allowance amount of €6 may be deducted; the maximum deductible amount is €1,260 (this corresponds to 210 days per calendar year). The blanket amount may only be deducted once per person, therefore, if several activities are performed it cannot be deducted separately for each activity.
The above-mentioned BMF circular contains several examples of cases that have been outlined in the table below.
Recommendation: In the wake of the new regulations in respect of a workroom at home and the home office blanket allowance a review should be carried out of how these have hitherto been taken into account in the tax return. If activities are performed in a home office to some extent then records have to be maintained that document the number of days.