Government intends to develop remote working strategy

Budget 2021: Working from home has been ‘essential part’ of Covid response – Donohoe

The Revenue says  its guidance will be updated to include  examples of how to claim a tax deduction for the cost of broadband. Photograph: Getty

The Revenue says its guidance will be updated to include examples of how to claim a tax deduction for the cost of broadband. Photograph: Getty

 

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said working from home or remote working had been “an essential part” of the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Donohoe said an inter-departmental group had been set up to work on the Government’s commitment to develop a strategy for remote working and remote service delivery.

The Minister outlined the supports that were in place for remote working. These include employees not facing a benefit-in-kind tax charge on up to €3.20 paid a day by employers towards the expenses of working from home.

A worker may claim a tax deduction for utility expenses such as gas or electricity for heating and electricity bills where an employer does not make a contribution.

Mr Donohoe said that, from this year, the Revenue Commissioners has confirmed that this may include cost of broadband used by people at home, with the Revenue to set out further details.

He said claims might also be made by workers for any other vouched expenses incurred “wholly, exclusively and necessarily” in the performance of the duties of the employment.

A Revenue spokesman said this test would be “strictly applied”.

The tax deduction is firstly apportioned to the number of days spent working remotely, and then the level of business and private use will be taken into account.

“Revenue accept an average proportion of cost up to 10 per cent light and heat and 30 per cent for broadband. Any claim should be reduced by reimbursements made by the employer,” said the spokesman.

The Revenue said its guidance would be updated “in due course” to include further information and working examples of how to claim a tax deduction for the cost of broadband.