Forum Salaris, an online platform run by Belastingdienst (the Dutch revenue service), has published a guide to home offices. The guide has existed for a few years, but has now been supplemented with up-to-date information and examples. The document extensively discusses the tax-exemption by law for the reimbursement, purchase and provision of health and safety facilities and necessary equipment. Forum Salaris lists the conditions and gives several examples. Belastingdienst has received lots of question about home offices.
One of the new examples discussed in the guide pertains to the situation in which employees receive a € 500 allowance for the interior of their home offices and do not have to hand in an invoice as proof of what they spent the allowance on. Your organization will then declare the € 500 allowance ‘eindheffingsloon’ (wages subject to a final levy) and include it in the ‘vrije ruimte’ (the budget for tax-free benefits and allowances). Unlike health and safety facilities and necessary equipment, the allowance is not tax-exempt by law. After all, without an invoice you cannot check if all conditions for tax-exemption by law are met.
Criterium of Necessity
The employer does not have to add a reimbursement of expenses on facilities and equipment for home offices to an employee’s taxable wages if the facilities and equipment meet the ‘noodzakelijkheidscriterium’ (criterium of necessity). Once the employee returns to office for work (a few days a week), there are two possibilities:
1) If facilities and/or equipment are no longer necessary for work:
- employee pays back the residual value, or;
- employer will add residual value to the employee’s taxable wages, or;
- employer will declare residual value ‘eindheffingsloon’.
2) If facilities and/or equipment are still necessary for work:
- employer will not add the reimbursement to the employee’s taxable wages.