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How to deduct (part of) your housing costs

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Are you self-employed, in a main or secondary occupation? You probably didn’t wait for 2020 to start working from home. It is not only practical: it makes economical sense too, provided that you deduct some of your housing costs. 

In this article, we explain the deductibility rules that apply to your home office!

What can you deduct? Your utility bills (water, gas, electricity, heating) and the interests on your mortgage loan, depending on the surface allocated to your activity at home. You deduct the entire furniture and decoration, from plants to armchairs, of your workspace.

🚨 Spoiler: If you are a tenant, you probably cannot deduct your rent, as explained below.

  • If you are a homeowner, you can deduct a portion of the interest from your mortgage, in the proportion of the space allocated to your activity
  • If you are a co-owner, you also deduct your housing costs based on your share of the propriety.

Example: if you own 50% of your home and devote 10% of its surface area to your professional activity, you will deduct 10% of 50% of your interests and expenses.

  • If you are a tenant, it is unlikely that your landlord will allow you to deduct your rent. That would make them pay more taxes. In practice, you can deduct your rent if :

(i) your lease is registered by the landlord (here)

(ii) specifies the portion of the rent for professional activities

(iii) the owner has agreed to it.

If the property is used for professional purposes, your landlord will pay higher taxes on rental income. It will be taxed on the rent received (minus costs) rather than on the cadastral income plus 40%. It is therefore doubtful that your landlord will agree.

How do you determine the deductible surface area of your home?

The safest option is to take your floor plan, your meter, and measure the space reserved for your office, your studio, your workshop. Determine if this space represents 12%, 28%, 6%… of your house and apply this same percentage to your expenses.

Be precise: in the event of a tax audit, the tax authorities may come to your home to check whether your expenses correspond to reality.

In general, the tax authorities allow you to deduct 15% of your home for business purposes. If you have the slightest doubt, of course, take out your tape measure and check!

How to deduct your home as a complementary self-employed person?

As a complementary self-employed person, you deduct your housing in proportion to the surface area that you devote to your complementary activity.

You teach yoga as a complementary activity and have transformed for this purpose part of the second floor of your house, i.e. 20%? You deduct 20% of the interest from your mortgage and your expenses.

You are co-owner of the house, for 40% of it?  You apply this 20% to the 40% you own. In other words, you apply the following formula: 20% x (40% of charges and interest).

💡 There is no VAT on the interest on your mortgage loan or charges: whether or not you are subject to VAT does not change the amount you deduct here.

Of course, these charges are only relevant if you keep the invoices: you can do this with our application, you will receive a tailor-made tax tip in the process!

 

Sibylle Greindl, creating content and communities
Sibylle Greindl, creating content and communities

Sibylle is fond of words and stories. She used to be one of the testers of Accountable, back in the old days. She found the app pretty convincing and decided to join its team.
She now makes sure as many self-employed professionals as possible can access the experience she had, when starting on Accountable!

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