Home office expenditure

Taxpayers who are salaried employees have limited deductions available to them. However, home office expenditure can be claimed as an income tax deduction, but the onus is on the taxpayer to prove that the expenses are in fact deductible.

For employment to constitute a “trade” and to qualify to deduct home office expenditure, the taxpayer should prove that the home office:

  • Is specifically equipped for this purpose: the home office must be equipped with the necessary tools and equipment required to render the trade (desks, chairs, computers, printers, trade-specific equipment, etc.). A lounge, living room, or empty, unoccupied room will not qualify as a home office for purposes of this deduction;
  • Is used regularly and exclusively for this purpose: the home office space should not be used for any alternative purpose, such as a playroom for your children, as this would most likely disqualify the deduction. It should also be used regularly as opposed to occasionally; and
  • Is where more than 50% of the taxpayer’s duties are performed: The Income Tax Act No 58 of 1962 does not prescribe whether this refers to time or volume of work, but it can generally be accepted as the total working time.

Expenditure that a taxpayer incurs in respect of their home offices will qualify for a deduction but is, however, limited to the following: rent of, cost of repairs of, or expenses in connection with, any premises occupied for purposes of trade. Any expenditure incurred regarding repairs to the property must have some relation to the home office to be permitted as a deduction.

Expenses in connection with a premises that would qualify for a deduction include items such as –

  • Interest on the mortgage bond;
  • Rates and taxes, and any other municipal service charges such as sewerage and refuse;
  • Levies;
  • Electricity; and
  • Cleaning costs.

Expenditures such as phone costs (including the monthly charges), stationery, furniture, computer, and communication equipment are not expenditures incurred in connection with the premises and fall outside of the scope of what is permitted by this deduction. Equipment may, however, nonetheless qualify for a wear-and-tear allowance.

Regarding telecommunication expenses, costs such as monthly subscriptions, fibre installation, etc., are not permitted as expenditure incurred in connection with the premises and is prohibited from being deducted. Hopefully, this position will be remedied by SARS soon.

SARS may request information pertaining to the home office of a taxpayer and will in this regard, more likely than not, request the submission of photographs to confirm that that specific area of the home is mainly and exclusively used for purposes of trade.

A taxpayer should ensure that their home office is utilised exclusively by them and for purposes of their trade and that they and their spouses do not jointly use it for home office purposes. Despite this deduction’s administrative burden, it is still sensible for a taxpayer to claim the deduction where the majority of such taxpayer’s duties are performed in their home office.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)




We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By continuing to browse, you agree to our use of cookies

IC Marais

Professional experience:

IC Marais is a certified CA (SA) with public sector and private sector technical knowledge based on 5 years’ Public Sector accounting, auditing and financial management experience and 5 years audit, tax and accounting experience. Detailed knowledge of private and public sector accounting and auditing standards (GRAP, IPSAS, IFRS, IAS, ISA) and public sector financial legislation (MFMA, etc.)

He enjoys the outdoors, hunting and fishing.



Professional experience:

In 1995, Schalk started as a trainee at Warner and Newton (which became Moores Rowland in 1997 and then Mazars Moores Rowland in 2007) in Bloemfontein. In 1998, Schalk was appointed as manager at Moores Rowland, where he became a partner in 2003. Schalk received his Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Taxation in 2006 and in 2009 he received his Certificate in the Administration of Estates.



Professional experience:

Cedric started as a trainee at Warner and Newton (which became Moores Rowland in 1997 and Mazars Moores Rowland in 2007), Bloemfontein, in 1986. After completion of his articles, he joined the Special Investigations Division of the Department of Finance (SA Revenue Services) as a senior inspector from 1990 to 1991.



Professional experience:

Lucha started her career as a tax inspector at the Inland Revenue Department of New Zealand. After this she worked in commerce in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

On her return to South Africa, she completed her CA training contract with us and has been with Newtons ever since. She became a Partner in 2012.

Apart from her CA(SA) qualification she also holds a postgraduate certificate in Advanced Taxation (2005) and has the overall responsibility for training as our Training Officer.