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Tax: Can the tax office check my office?


If you have a study in your home, you can state this on your tax return, which will save you money. But can the tax office check how the room is used?

If you have a study in your home, you can state this on your tax return, which will save you money.

But can the tax office check how the room is used?

At the height of the corona crisis, working in your own study was a great relief for both employees and employers.

Contact with colleagues could be established virtually and office work could be continued.

However, the trend towards working from home seems to have been on the rise not only since the corona crisis.

In general, arguments are made for a better work-life balance, since work can be distributed more flexibly throughout the day or additional free time is available due to the elimination of travel times.

Tax return: Office is not the same as home office

A study that is used for professional purposes can be taken into account for tax purposes.

The office should not be confused with the possibility of being able to claim additional costs from the home office in the tax.

This option is available regardless of whether there is a separate study room for the home office.

In order for a study and proportionate costs such as rent or electricity costs to be claimed, other requirements must be met in addition to your own room.

When is a study recognized by the tax office?


A study improves the work-life balance.

© Jens Kalaene/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa/Symbolbild

If the home office is the focus of the entire professional activity, expenses may be fully tax-deductible.

In the case of home offices, which are not the focus of the entire professional activity, the expenses up to the amount of EUR 1,250 per calendar year can be deducted as income-related expenses if no other workplace is available for the professional activity.

You have to differentiate between the costs for the study and the costs for work equipment, such as a shelf or a laptop.

Such costs can also be deducted if the tax office does not recognize a study or if there is only a work corner. 

Tax tricks: How to save money on your tax return

Tax tricks: How to save money on your tax return

Can the tax office check the study in the apartment?

A recently decided case dealt with the question of whether an auditor from the tax office can visit the taxpayer and check his information about the office.

The Federal Fiscal Court (BFH) has set clear limits.

According to the court, a personal inspection of the premises can only be considered if the taxpayer does not cooperate in clarifying doubtful questions.

In the case decided, the taxpayer had sent a floor plan of the apartment as proof of the study, in which the specified study was shown by the seller of the apartment as the only bedroom in the apartment.

Without further inquiry to the taxpayer, the tax office sent an employee to check the apartment.

The taxpayer who had nothing to hide and let the examiner in

However, the taxpayer was of the opinion that the procedure of the tax office was not correct and had this subsequently examined by a court.

The Federal Fiscal Court has now confirmed the taxpayer's view with a judgment (file number VIII R 8/19).

A personal inspection of the office by the tax office is only considered if the taxpayer has not previously helped to clear up any ambiguities.

Here the tax office should have asked first before carrying out a personal check.

List of rubrics: © Jens Kalaene/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa/Symbolbild

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2022-12-29

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