claim tax on a home office in South Africa

Here’s how you claim tax on a home office in South Africa in 2024. Image: File/Fotor

HOW to claim tax on a home office in South Africa in 2024

With 2024 tax season just around the corner, don’t forget to claim tax on a home office in South Africa, if you’re eligible. Here’s how …

claim tax on a home office in South Africa

Here’s how you claim tax on a home office in South Africa in 2024. Image: File/Fotor

2024 tax season opens on Monday, 15 July 2024, and now is the time to claim tax on a home office in South Africa if you are eligible. Tax season runs till Monday, 21 October 2024, for non-provisional taxpayers. However, the window for provisional taxpayers extends to Monday, 20 January 2025. Click HERE for an explanation of the differences between the two.

Nevertheless, with the way people work in Mzansi being so different since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll explain how you can claim tax on a home office in South Africa. We’re taking our lead from the tax experts at TaxTim. So, here’s everything you need to know to maximise your claim in 2024 if you work from home …

CLAIM TAX ON A HOME OFFICE IN SOUTH AFRICA

claim tax on a home office in South Africa
You can claim tax on a home office in South Africa by adhering to the following rules. Image: File

Working from home, flexi-time, whatever you want to call it, has disrupted the old-fashioned nine-to-five work regimes of yore. So, if you’re a slashy or part of the gig economy and work from home now, you absolutely are entitled to claim tax on a home office in South Africa. But it’s very important you fully understand the tax rules around a home office.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) allows you to claim tax on a home office under ‘Other Deductions’ on your income tax return (ITR12). However, this is only allowed under certain conditions. No matter if you’re a sole proprietor, freelancer, salaried employee with a company or earn commission through your work, SARS will accept a claim for your internet expenses. However, if you’re a salaried employee working from home, you must claim internet expenses directly from your employer instead.

WHAT SARS WANTS TO SEE IN YOUR HOME OFFICE

claim tax on a home office in South Africa
The 2024 tax season starts mid-July, with auto-assessments going out two weeks beforehand. Image: File

Here’s what you need to claim tax on a home office in South Africa in 2024:

  • You need a letter from your employer saying they’ve allowed you to work from home. See an example letter HERE.  
  • You must spend more than half of your total working hours each day/week/month/year in your home office.
  • Your office must be an entire room in your home, which is used exclusively for the purpose of work. Working on the dining room table, or in your lounge, does not count. It needs to be a separate space used specifically and only for work to qualify for a deduction.
  • SARS is strict about this, asking for evidence in the form of photographs and floor plans. And TaxTim warns if you do not meet all requirements that your attempt to claim tax on a home office in South Africa will be denied.

WHAT IS THE CALCULATION?

claim tax on a home office in South Africa
If you work from home you are entitled to claim tax for your home office. Image: File

You must calculate the total square meterage of your office in relation to the total square meterage of your house and then convert this to a percentage. Apply this percentage to the home office expenditure in order to calculate the portion. The amount you get is what’s deductible. For example, let’s say your home office is 20 square meters, and the floor space of your entire home, including the office, is 200 square meters. Therefore, the office is 10% of your house.

As such, your home-office deduction for the year can be 10% of your expenses in maintaining the office. So, include things like your rent, rates and electricity, internet and cellphone (if applicable), a cleaner and any cost for items purchased in the office (PC, printer, furniture, etc). If you would like further assistance or clarification, we encourage you to use TaxTim’s handy Home Office Tax Calculator HERE.

HAVE YOUR SAY

claim tax on a home office in South Africa
Why not have your say. Have you claimed for a home office before? Image: File

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, tax or legal advice. For further details consult the SARS website or get in touch with a tax specialist, like TaxTim. Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates.