Remote working and deductions
Working remotely may cause you expenses that are deductible in taxation. These include workspace costs, expenses paid for tools and for a data connection. Working remotely means an arrangement in which you and your employer have agreed that you will work at least some of the time remotely from your home or other workspace you have acquired.
Expenses for the production of income
If you receive wage income, you are automatically granted a €750 deduction for the production of income. If you have more expenses than this, you can report them as expenses for the production of income on your tax return.
The following can be deducted as expenses for the production of income:
workspace deduction (you have 2 alternative options: either the standard deduction based on a formula or a deduction based on actual cost – you cannot have both)
the expenses related to your tools (such as a computer workstation or its display)
the expenses you paid for the data connection, either fully or in part
Look up the amounts of the deductions
When you work remotely, you can claim a deduction – two alternative options are available:
A. Workspace deduction based on a formula
B. The actual cost of your workspace, furniture, etc.
This means that you cannot claim both these deductions on your tax return.
A. Workspace deduction based on a formula
You can get the formula-based, standard deduction for workspace expenses even if you have no specific area where you would regularly set up a “home office”. You do not have to give grounds for your claim.
The amount of the workspace deduction depends on the number of days you work remotely.
The standard deduction covers the rent for the workspace and its lighting, electricity, heating and cleaning. The amount also covers the cost of furniture; a desk and a chair are typical deductible pieces of furniture. If you claim the formula-based deduction, you cannot claim separate deductions relating to the prices you had paid for the pieces of furniture.
If two spouses both work from home in their shared home where they live together, both can claim the formula-based deduction – see table below.
|Number of days of remote work||
Workspace deduction in 2021 tax assessment, based on a formula
|If you work from home more than 50% of the total number of work days in a calendar year||€920|
|If you work from home no more than 50% of the total number of work days in a calendar year||€460|
|If you work from home occasionally||€230|
Example 1: Olli works from home for more than half of his workdays during the year. He does not have a separate workspace. He has also bought an office chair that cost €200. Olli can deduct €920 as workspace expenses related to his production of income. This is the formula-based deduction. The amount is designed to cover the furniture, too. This means that Olli is not entitled to add the price he paid for the desk chair as a deductible expense. Because this amount exceeds the automatic deduction for the production of income (€750), €920 is deducted from Olli’s wage income.
Example 2: Anu works from home for less than half of her work days during the year. She is entitled to the standard workspace deduction and can deduct €460 as expenses for the production of income in her tax assessment. However, if Anu does not have any other expenses for the production of income, she does not need to claim the deduction, because €750 will be automatically deducted from her wage income as the deduction for the production of income.
B. Deduction based on actual expenses
If your work involves a substantial amount of work from home, you can choose to deduct the actual expenses related to your workspace instead of claiming the standard workspace deduction. For example, you can deduct the amount you paid for office furniture, the rent of the workspace and its lighting and heating. If you deduct the actual expenses, you must be prepared to specify your claim and present receipts.
If the two spouses, who both work from home in their shared home, claim the actual expenses instead of the above, the deductible sums are distributed between the spouses based on an account presented by them.
A desk and a desk chair are typical pieces of furniture in a workspace.
If you purchase the furniture yourself and use it mainly for work, you can deduct its price and any repair costs as expenses for the production of income.
- If during 2021, the price you paid was no more than €1,200 per piece of furniture, you can claim the entire cost during the year of purchase.
- If the price was over €1,200, deduct 25% of it every year as depreciation.
The tools can include your computer, monitor and keyboard, for example.
If you purchase the tools yourself and use them mainly for work, you can deduct their purchase and repair costs as expenses for the production of income.
- If during 2021, the price you paid was no more than €1,200 per tool, you can claim the tool’s entire cost
- If the price was over €1,200, deduct 25% according to the deduction rules for depreciation.
If you borrow tools from your employer, i.e. your employer still owns them, you are not receiving a taxable benefit.
If your employer buys you tools that you can then keep as your own, you are considered to have received an added amount of taxable wages – the market value of the tools – which your employer will include in the reports to the Incomes Register.
Example 3: Minna works from home on a regular basis, for less than half of her total work days. Accordingly, she is entitled to a deduction of €460. She has also purchased a monitor and a keyboard for work purposes. They cost €200 in total. The employer has provided Minna with a laptop, mouse and headset.
Minna’s expenses for the production of income consist of the acquisition cost of the monitor and the keyboard as well as her workspace deduction, which amount to €660 in total. Minna does not need to claim these expenses, because she will automatically receive the €750 deduction for the production of income.
You have acquired the data connection yourself
If you have acquired a data connection (e.g. broadband) yourself, you can deduct it as expenses for the production of income. The deductible amount is
50% of the fees if you use it partly for work
100% of the data connection fees if you use the connection mainly for work.
If two spouses share the data connection when they pursue activities for the production of income, they must use half of the percentages above.
If your employer reimburses you the costs of a data connection that you have acquired yourself, the reimbursement is taxable income regardless of whether the connection is in work use or private use. You can deduct the portion of the costs relating to work use on your tax return, if your total amount of expenses for the production of income is more than €750.
Your employer has acquired the data connection for you
If your employer provides you with a data connection for work purposes, you do not have to pay tax on it regardless of whether the connection is in work use or private use.
If you work remotely for part of the week, you can claim the expenses for commuting to work only for the days when you do go there. Check your pre-completed tax return to make sure that your commuting and travel expenses are in line with your actual expenses for last year. If any errors are found, make the necessary corrections.
The personal liability threshold for commuting expenses is €750. The only situation where you should claim the expenses is if the sum total is higher than €750. Claim the costs according to the least expensive means of transportation. The monthly pass for public transportation may be the least expensive option even if you work from home a part of the week.
If you wear a face mask on public transport during your commute and you buy the masks yourself, you can deduct them as part of your commuting expenses. The deduction amount is €2 for each day when you have made a trip that qualifies for the deduction. The THL's (Finnish Institute's for Health and Welfare) recommendation for wearing masks when riding public transport was valid from 13 August 2020 to 14 April 2022. After end of validity, you can no longer receive the deduction for face masks.
Example 4: Risto lives in Lahti. Between 1 January and 15 March 2021, he commuted to his office located in Helsinki almost every weekday. As of 16 March 2021, he works from home. He will continue working from home through the year. However, starting September 2021, he begins making trips to the office in Helsinki approximately once a week. The least expensive means of transportation for Risto’s usual commute has been a monthly ticket with a 3-month period of validity (deductible from January to March). In addition to that, Risto can claim the actual expenses of each one-way fare he has purchased for his occasional trips to the office in September, October, November and December.
He can also claim the costs of the face masks for the days when he visits the office, provided that he pays them himself.
How to report the deductions on your tax return
Note: If you have filed travel expenses or expenses for the production of income previously for your tax card, you can see and correct them in MyTax under the Pre-completed income and deductions stage of the tax card. If the details are not pre-completed on the tax card, you must submit them in the Other deductions stage.
|Deduction||How to claim the deductible expenses|
|Work tools, such as monitor and keyboard||