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Home Office: This Is What Saves You Taxes When Working From Home

13 June 2022

Are you an entrepreneur with a business in Switzerland working from home? Then you have plenty of opportunities to save taxes by knowing which expenses you can claim as business expenses. Here we show you some home office expenses that you may not be aware of as tax deductible.

The focus is on the tax optimization of both a corporation or limited liability company as well as sole proprietorships. Entrepreneurship is booming, and in Switzerland, as in many countries around the world, most people start their business from home, initially without employees. For this case, we show here some typical expenses that can have a tax-reducing effect.

Workroom In Home Office

In Switzerland, the room dedicated for work in your home office can be deducted in the tax declaration, provided that three things are cumulatively fulfilled. First, a substantial and regular activity in the home office of at least one third to 40% of the working time. Second: You have no other workplace available or the use is not reasonable or not possible. Third: You can actually separate the workplace from the living space. One thing that is not allowed is if you set up your home office in the corner of a bedroom. But it doesn't matter whether the garage, the conservatory or a living room serves as a home office - you can set off the room of your apartment or house that you regularly use for your work.

The calculation formula is simple: gross rent per month or per year divided by number of rooms + 2. So if you live for CHF 36,000 rent per year in a 4-room apartment, you divide 36,000 by 6, which results in CHF 6,000. So, in the example, you can deduct CHF 500 of rent from business expenses every month you spend at home on business. For residential property, the gross rent is replaced by the imputed rental value + ancillary costs. The rest of the formula is the same.

Purchases And Administrative Costs For The Home Office

Of course, when working from home, you also need a decent chair, table, or other work materials like even machines in the garage, or simply a printer. All these expenses are tax deductible. Either directly at acquisition, or staggered over the useful life as depreciation.

Likewise, you can claim your home internet and phone bill as an expense if you use both primarily for your business.

Use Of Your Private Car For Self-Employment

If you have just started your own business and own a private car that you now also use for business meetings, then you can submit the proportional expenses here.

Expenses for business trips are reimbursed at a rate of 70 Swiss cents (Rappen) per kilometer. It is important that you create a logbook that records the number of kilometers, date and reason for the trip. Attention! The 70 Swiss cents (Rappen) cover all costs for the vehicle, i.e. you continue to pay all costs for the vehicle yourself and cannot deduct them from your taxes. This includes, among other things, repairs, gasoline, tires, oil, rented garage space, car insurance or vehicle depreciation.

If you travel to a business meeting in connection with a visit to a restaurant, you can also claim this as an expense. Always remember to get a VAT-compliant receipt for all expenses. With the Numarics app, you can scan it right away and have it processed in your accounting.

Business Travel

We increasingly work from home, but we have customers and business partners around the world to whom we sometimes take another trip by plane. You can deduct your expenses for flight, accommodation and further transport completely as business expenses and thus reduce your annual taxes. Of course, this also applies to international industry meetings, industry events or trade fairs. It is important that you can prove that the air travel is of a business nature. If you combine it directly with a private trip, you split the costs in a well-documented way.

Do you travel a lot for business? Then a flat-rate allowance for food and drinks in accordance with the tax conditions is worthwhile. These clearly regulate how much and whether you may deduct lunch or even morning and evening meals. In return, you may deduct less in your private tax return. Numarics will create an expense regulation for you with the tax authorities of your Swiss canton.

Business Coaching

Business coaching is popular and many founders turn to it for start-up support. Of course, this is also related to your business and therefore you can claim all expenses.

Business Loan

In general, the rule of thumb is that if you incur an expense solely for business purposes, then it belongs in the expenses of your business. This is why interest or fees for a business loan you may have taken out to get started are also deductible. 

Documents and receipts must always be stored for 10 years. For efficient processes and so that your home office is not overwhelmed by paper, you can simply scan the receipt with the Numarics app and have Numarics store it electronically for 10 years in a legally secure manner. We ensure that all legal requirements of the Swiss Business Records Ordinance regarding archiving are met.

Try Numarics! With us you have a professional accountant through an award-winning mobile and web app on your side. We take care of accounting, taxes, financial statements and payroll for you. Simply download the app and our team of qualified Swiss finance experts and accountants will be available to advise you with your individual tax situation via click or phone. 

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