Working from home: which costs are deductible?

Working from home: which costs are deductible?

Written by: Michiel Brouwer
Over the past years, many self-employed individuals have worked from home. There are strict rules about whether the costs you’ve made during this period can be regarded as business costs and thus added to your administration. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration has set a very clear framework when it comes to deducting housing costs.

Independent workspace

In general, accommodation and furnishing costs are only considered business costs if the space you work from is an independent workspace. This means that your office needs to be clearly distinguishable as separate from the rest of the house. You should be able to rent out the space to third parties, as it were. Factors the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration will take into account are: does it have a private entrance and private sanitary facilities? The tax authorities also state that the workspace needs to be used intensively, meaning that the space is used for work for your company for more than 90% of the time.

Now that was just the easy part. Depending on whether the workspace can be classified as a private or business space, certain requirements are imposed on the income ratio obtained from this workspace. This allows you to determine whether the costs for the space actually qualify for cost deduction. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration has developed this handy tool to check whether you’re entitled to deduct the housing costs.

Working from home: which costs are deductible?

What if you don’t meet the requirements?

Unfortunately, you can’t deduct any costs if the workspace doesn’t meet the requirements of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. Items such as a desk, office chair or lamp are bought at your expense. What you CAN do is reclaim the VAT on these expenses. You can simply add this to your administration. In turn, your accountant will make a correction so that the costs aren’t included but the VAT can be reclaimed. Any equipment you need for your job that is not tied to a specific space automatically falls under business costs; e.g. laptop, telephone, etc.

The only expenses you’re always allowed to deduct, even if you don’t have an independent workspace, are the internet costs for home use. Please note that you’ll probably also partly use the internet privately. Therefore, determine a reasonable business percentage for yourself. After all, the costs must be plausible. Apply this percentage to the total costs for internet use.

Deductible expenses

If you have an independent workspace, the following costs are deductible:

  • Furnishing costs such as carpeting, wallpaper, desk, office chair and window decoration of the workspace
  • Rent or a maximum of 4% of WOZ-waarde (property value) of the home workspace
  • Energy costs used for business purposes
  • Insurance
  • Rent or depreciation costs of the part of your house used for business
  • Cleaning costs and the like (only for the workspace)
  • Part of your mortgage debt can attributed to the company

Please note that the costs listed above are very specific and cannot be applied automatically. Contact your accountant to determine to what extent they apply to your situation.