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Home offices should be tax-deductible, court rules

DDP/The Local · 29 Jul 2010, 12:23

Published: 29 Jul 2010 12:23 GMT+02:00

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The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that a 2007 restriction on the tax deductibility of home workspaces was unconstitutional on the grounds that it breached the “common rule of equality.”

Under the 2007 restriction, a taxpayer could not claim tax deductions on the cost of a home office if it was not their main work space. Only people who worked mainly from home could claim deductions on these expenses.

But the Karlsruhe court ruled in favour of a high school teacher, whose deductions in his income tax return for 2007, based on expenses incurred through having a home office, had been rejected by the Finance Ministry.

The Ministry had argued that his home office was not the main place of work for a teacher.

This applied even though there was no place at the school where the teacher could carry out his extra-curricular work, such as marking tests, meaning he had to do it at home.

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The teacher spent two hours a day working in a room at his home that was set aside purely as an office. He had asked to be given space at the school to do this extra-curricular work but the school had refused.

The court ruled that people with second offices at home should be able to backdate tax claims to January 1, 2007.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:54 July 29, 2010 by NYsteve
Not sure of the exact law here in the US but the gist of it is if you have a dedicated space set aside only for office use for your job or home business, you can deduct 1/3 of your rent, energy bill, phone bill as business expenses off your taxes...the key is it HAS to be dedicated space not the kitchen table. A regular office can deduct all of these expenses as business so if you work from home so this is only fair. More and more people are "tele-commuting" (working from home) since it saves gasoline, reduces highway congestion...employers are becoming more and more flexible and creative with employees and their time working.
14:56 July 29, 2010 by William Thirteen
ringing up my tax man right now. after all, i am a knowledge worker and often 'think' about work while sitting on the couch with the pistol in my mouth...
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