Forum Salaris, an online platform run by the Belastingdienst (the Dutch revenue service), has published an up-to-date guide on home offices. This was done in response to the many questions they received on the topic.
Health and safety facilities
The guide discusses in much detail how the reimbursement, purchase and provision of health and safety facilities and necessary equipment is exempt from taxation. Necessary equipment includes tools, computers, mobile means of communication, and any such equipment and machinery exempt from taxation by law. The online guide sums up the conditions for tax exemption, with examples provided.
One of the newly included examples deals with the situation in which employees receive a € 500 allowance for the interior of their home office. They do not have to submit an invoice as proof of purchase. The employer will declare the allowance as ‘eindheffingsloon’ (wages subject to a final levy) and it will be included in the ‘vrije ruimte’ (the budget for tax-free allowances and benefits). The allowance is not exempt from taxation by law, as without seeing an invoice the employer cannot prove whether the conditions for tax exemption have been met or not.
Another example deals with the consequences of paying a fixed homeworking allowance (i.e. an fixed amount of allowance paid to employees working from home to cover additionally incurred expenses). According to NIBUD, the Netherlands National Institute for Budgetary Advice, working from home cost on average € 2 per day. These expenses are incurred through drinking water and coffee/tea, using gas and electricity, going through more toilet paper and buying office equipment such as a desk and chair. The employer will pay a fix homeworking allowance to cover these additional expenses and will declare this allowance as ‘eindheffingsloon’. In that case, the allowance of € 2 per day will be included in the ‘vrije ruimte’. The homeworking allowance is also not exempt from taxation by law.