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Self-Employed - The tax implications of working from home

For most self-employed people there is usually some use of their home for business purposes. You are then entitled to a tax deduction for the proportion of household expenditure relevant to the business use.

The Revenue has recently issued guidance to “clarify” the calculation of deductions. This suggests that the costs should be apportioned on the bases of:

  • area of the total property used in the business;
  • usage;
  • time the area is used for business use as opposed to any other use.

However, where this will not work the Revenue should accept claims made on any reasonable basis.

So how do you apportion home costs?

The Revenue gives several examples of the approach it recommends.

Mortgage interest: The interest may be split where there is a substantial use of part of the property for business purposes.

Insurance: An apportionment of the total premium calculated for usage and area, etc.
Repairs and maintenance: General household repairs are allowable in line with the proportion of business use.

Telecoms/internet broadband, etc: The Revenue’s previous view was that line rental was not allowable. This has now changed, and a proportion of rental and calls is allowed on a reasonable basis; this should be supported by itemised bills.

The guidance includes a number of specific examples, which can be found by clicking here.

One thing to remember is that an individual’s main residence is exempt from capital gains tax on disposal provided it has been used as the main residence throughout ownership. Provided that no room is used exclusively for business purposes, there should be no restriction on the availability of the main residence exemption from CGT.

 

 

Date: 2nd April, 2008
Author: Cathy Corns

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