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Pay less tax when working from home

27 May 2020 9:19 AM

Craig Rocher on the criteria you must meet to claim for “home offices expenses” and which expenses are deductible (NOT the phone).

More people are working from home right now in South Africa than most people would ever have imagined.

Soon, some of them will be able to claim “home office expenses” from the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

It is reasonable to assume that employers are responsible for business expenses – which, to a large extent right now, is not possible under work-from-home arrangements.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Craig Rocher, a chartered accountant at Tax Consulting SA.

She asked him whether you can claim for costs such as electricity, ink, paper, etc.?

(The most important test for claiming expenses is that you must’ve spent at least half of your time in a tax year working from home.)

What else do you need to know – and what must be in place - so you can be ready when you reach that threshold?


Also, read:


The Act is very clear – you must meet certain criteria. Some expenses are deductible, however, it’s according to stringent rules… you need to spend more than 50% of your time at home in your office. To prove that you need your employer to amend your contract with an addendum stating you need to spend more than 50% of your time at home…

Craig Rocher, chartered accountant - Tax Consulting SA

The office must be regularly and exclusively used for the purpose of your trade… it must not be used for anything else…

Craig Rocher, chartered accountant - Tax Consulting SA

You can deduct the rental expense or the interest on your bond… deductible expenses must be apportioned based on the office space in relation to the entire house…

Craig Rocher, chartered accountant - Tax Consulting SA

The Act is not aimed at a lockdown process… there’s room for improvement.

Craig Rocher, chartered accountant - Tax Consulting SA

Unfortunately, a phone bill is one of the expenses that do not qualify.

Craig Rocher, chartered accountant - Tax Consulting SA

For more detail, listen to the interview in the audio below.


27 May 2020 9:19 AM

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