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Use these three tips to claim tax back on that office in your bedroom

by , 22 May 2014
Since 2005, you've been able to claim those handy tax deductions on a home office. But sometimes it can be difficult to do, because these deductions blur the line between private and company tax.

And if you don't actually qualify for this deduction, SARS will query the claim and you may face penalties.

Avoid this by checking off one of these three requirements before you claim your home office as a tax deductible expense.

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12 Taxable fringe benefits - are you taking advantage of all of them?
 
There are hundreds of companies out there that don't know which fringe benefits are taxable or they land up taxing the wrong percentage on them... 
 
This kind of error could cost you thousands in penalties to SARS if it catches you out – and it will!
 
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Checklist: When you can claim a deduction on a home office

If you can tick yes to one of these requirements, you can claim a tax deduction on a home office from SARS:
 
Your home has specific equipment that you use for your job and only for your job;
 
 
Your income doesn't come from commission but you do your work in your home office.
 
Still not sure if you can claim it as a business tax deduction? Here are a few more things to think about.
 
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Legally pay less tax
 
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Is that computer at home a private and business expense?

 
Think about what you use the office in your home for. Do you spend most of the time in there working? Or do your kids spend more time in there playing computer games?
 
If it's the first one, your office is a business expense. If it's the second, it's a private expense. 
 
This becomes more difficult to determine if you spend the whole day in the office working and your children spend the whole night there playing games. In this case, your office is a business and private expense and you must make a pro rata distribution based on the size of your office in relation to the size of your whole house.
 
There are definitely some great tax benefits if you have a home office. But first check off one of these points before you ask SARS to give you some money back.
 


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