WFH Expenses Like Electricity & Phone Bills Are Tax-Deductible From Next Year

Working from home (WFH) has become a reality for many of us as we trade our office-wear for pyjamas or more casual clothing at work amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

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Now there may be another reason to work from home, at least for the rest of this year: tax deductions on WFH expenses.

WFH expenses deductions on income tax from 2021

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) confirmed via The Business Times that WFH expenses are tax-deductible — provided they’re “incurred wholly and exclusively” for work purposes.

Phone bills and electricity usage would fall under this category, as long as they’re not already paid for by your employer.

The expenses can be claimed starting 2021’s income tax filing period — this year’s period started on 1 Mar.

This should be good news for many employees, who are encouraged to continue WFH even after Singapore entered Phase 1 of the reopening of the country today (2 Jun).

How to calculate tax-deductible amount

Basically, you take the bills incurred from before you started working from home, say on 7 Apr when the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period started.

Then you take the costs from after the WFH period and deduct it by the amount before — say, in March.

E.g. $100 (after WFH) – $80 (before WFH) = $20.

This $20 can be deducted as it’s incurred due to work.

Singapore perhaps moving towards WFH-based economy

Before Covid-19 was a thing, working from home seemed like a pipe dream. The office was sacred and commuting was a fact of life.

Now, no longer, at least for the majority of office workers. While offices are emptier and we spend more time at home, we also incur expenses that we wouldn’t otherwise.

The tax deductions, while a bit of a hassle to calculate, can save precious funds as we perhaps move towards a WFH-based economy.

Featured image adapted from TheSmartLocal.