If the 2020 Annual Tax Act is on the agenda next Monday from 12 noon in the Europahal of the Paul Löbehuis, one can only wish that the will for unbureaucratic simplicity is also present. Because then the Bundestag’s Finance Committee will deal with the tax deductibility of the home office, which as a form of work suitable for pandemics has long since become a pandemic of its own.
61 percent of the workforce has been working from home for months to prevent the spread of the corona virus. 20 percent more than before the pandemic. By working where you live, you don’t have to go to work, but it costs more than going to the office. Just by constantly plugging in the charging cables for PCs and smartphones, some will realize that the electricity bill will rise this year and that additional payments will have to be made. And that does not apply to the lighting for days when it used to be dark.
Many households will also have significantly more heating in the coming cold months than at the same time last year. Not to mention the sparkling water that you have to buy yourself, which is usually provided by your employer, and the daily lunch at your own expense, because the subsidized canteen meal is no longer available. Even carpets would have become repairs due to the hassle. Who reimburses this and how?
A solution that is as unbureaucratic as possible is more than desirable. One that no longer has any proof of how wide the corner of the living room is now used for work, and similar tortures. Simple flat-rate models are needed, there are suggestions. This makes the job easier for tax offices and tax returns for living room workers. The regulations should be written for almost everyone in the spirit of the state’s previously quite generous corona watering can support.
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This will undoubtedly be a challenge for a tax system whose propensity for impenetrable fuss is legendary. Which alone would be worth referring to. What is a tax system that presents itself to people as a frightening hyperconstruction, transparent to an increasingly smaller group of experts? That also causes annoyance, of which there will be enough in the world after this challenging year. In the course of the home office deductibility this year, more people than usual will probably file a tax return, including people for whom this is new territory. Surprising them with unbureaucratic regulation could be a goal.