Taxes - deductions 2020 Work From Home

Hi all,

I wanted to share the info I received from the Vaud tax office. I called them on Friday to ask about the possibility of claiming a deduction for a part of the rent and electricity when a room had to be converted to a home office.
Here are the main takeways:

  • As of now, they actually don’t know themselves if this kind of deductions will be accepted or not. That’s also why there’s no specific information available online for this.
  • The person’s advice was: you should still try to claim it if you want, and there’s simply no guarantee it will be accepted.
  • The WFH has to be mandatory (not for your convenience) and you must have dedicated a room to this (i.e. opening up your laptop on the dining table is not enough).
  • If you claim the deduction, it has to be with “Frais effectifs”. You cannot use “Forfait + Effectif”.

If you decide to claim the deduction, computing its amount could look something like this (the person I spoke to couldn’t give a very specific formula since there’s no officially recognized way of claiming this yet).

relative surface = (surface of home office room) / (total surface)
daily rent = (monthly rent + electricity) * 12 / 365
deduction = relative surface * daily rent * numbers of WFH days

You can then give the details of the computation as an attachment to your tax return.
In my case, “Forfait” (3% of income) ended up being a larger number, so I decided not to claim a WFH deduction.

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Hi,

Thanks for sharing this. i’ll run my numbers and see what to do.

i have started preparing my 2020 tax declaration and i realized that every year i claim a deduction for transport and lunch (codes 140 and 150). i was wondering if they apply as i’ve been working from home basically. i guess we should be able to do one or the other deduction but not both.

which takes to the question, how are they going to verify this? it’s going to be massive.

so i’m still lost… does anybody have any info for codes 140 and 150?

Cheers

I’ve read (cannot find the link now, may have been in print) that tax office is going to take it easy and simply accept all deduction for commuting and eating out even if you worked from home. They said it combines a tax deduction (help to families), it involve less works (no verification needed) and makes life easier for everybody.
A rational solution

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In Vaud, they specifically indicated that you should claim this deduction only for days where you actually worked away from home:

Les déductions pour frais de déplacement et de repas hors domicile sont en revanche accordées selon le nombre de jours concernés durant l’année. Les contribuables pourront ainsi facilement adapter leur demandes en déduisant les jours de télétravail (…)

This seems to be highly canton-dependent though, and the details are still in flux.

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Thanks for the shared info, sorry what is this 3% income forfait about? It’s the first time I have heard. Does this discussion also apply to B permit holder when we claim tax deduction with the 3A purchase?

If you have to fill the annual tax declaration yes, these points apply also to B permit holders.
Concerning the 3% flat rate deduction for work-related expenses, it should already be included in the “standard” deductions used in the calculations of the tax at source, you should double check in your canton but in Neuchatel it’s certainly included in the list (up to 4000 CHF):

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True that, Neuchatel also decided that you can only deduct transport and food for the days you actually worked in the office.
In exchange they allow an additional flat rate deduction for the days of home office (these have been marked on the salary certificate by my employer).

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