Germany plans tax rebate for employees working from home

Germany plans tax rebate for employees working from home

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany (AFP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel's Government yesterday said it was planning a tax rebate for people working from home during the pandemic, to help offset higher costs for heating, electricity and other bills.

Merkel's left-right coalition said it had agreed a proposal that would allow employees working from home to reduce their annual tax bill by five euros (US$6) per working day, up to a maximum amount of 600 euros per year.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the proposed legislation, expected to be approved by Parliament in December, is “good for workers” and “not a big fiscal challenge for the German state”.

Tax law in Germany means that working from home normally only qualifies for rebates if one room in the house is used exclusively as an office.

But with millions of office employees working from their living rooms and kitchen tables to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, calls have grown for the rules to be relaxed.

Calculations by the Ifo institute show that around 56 per cent of German employees could potentially work from home temporarily.

Existing law “no longer correlates to today's working world”, said Sebastian Brehm, an MP and tax advisor for Merkel's CSU Bavarian sister party.

The planned tax deduction was the “flexible answer” to this, he told AFP.

What remained unresolved however was whether the home-office tax proposal would be included in the 1,000 euro tax deduction every German employee already gets annually for job-related expenses like transport and work outfits, or whether it would come on top of it.

This year's massive shift to working from home to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission is likely to lead to changes in the workplace that will outlast the pandemic.

Labour Minister Hubertus Heil has already said he wants employees to have the right to request to work from home occasionally in future, though he backed down from an initial proposal of guaranteeing workers at least 24 days of home office a year.

Last week, Germany's largest lender Deutsche Bank said it was mulling allowing employees to work away from the office permanently for two days a week, according to Bloomberg News.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT