For a year now, the words “working from home” have been on everyone’s lips. Health restrictions have prompted the majority of us to work remotely. This new reality has consequences for the way we are taxed, both as employees and as taxpayers. Read on for a brief overview.
A lack of deductions for working from home
Working from home has led to additional business costs for employees, such as purchasing office equipment or renting a workspace. In this context, the issue of deducting these costs has arisen and been addressed by the relevant authorities, who have generally given the following answer: these costs are not deductible.
However, each canton has made its own provisions, and it is in the taxpayer’s interest to check what working from home means within their canton of residence/taxation. Our advice? Make sure you know the rules that apply to your specific circumstances to avoid unpleasant surprises!
Where some people thought they could deduct additional costs, it appears that not only are these costs deductible only in very specific cases (for example, the notion of durability of using a room to work from home is taken into account in Geneva) but other deductions are also affected (such as a reduction in meal costs according to the days spent working from home), particularly in Geneva and Vaud. Note that the Valais has a different approach, since the usual fees apply.
All the information you need is available here:
- The consequences of the pandemic for my tax return – State of Geneva
- Decisions by the Council of State – Canton of Vaud
- Directive of the Cantonal Tax Service – Canton of Valais
Working from home and cross-border workers
As we shared with you last August, an agreement between Switzerland and France allowed cross-border workers to work from home at a higher rate than the 25% allowed in normal times.
Remember that for employees who work in Switzerland and live in France, both employer and employee would normally pay taxes and social contributions in Switzerland. On the other hand, if the employee works from home more than 25% of the time, they and the employer must pay these contributions in France, where rates are higher. The agreement between Switzerland and France during the pandemic made it possible to make an exception to this rule.
Since the start of the crisis, French cross-border workers have been able to work from home without consequences for their social insurance and/or taxes. This interim measure has been extended until 30 June 2021.
More information on the extension: