Working from home? See how the updates to the e-Working and Tax manual affect you

Oct 27, 2020

Revenue updated the Tax and Duty Manual (TDM) e-Working and Tax to provide clarity on capital expenditure incurred by an employee while working from home and allow for concessional treatment of broadband expenses relating to COVID-19. The manual also provides confirmation that the normal place of work, even in the current circumstances, is the office. Chartered Accountants Ireland, under the auspicious of the CCAB-I, submitted feedback for consideration to the Government’s consultation on remote working earlier in the year, which highlighted the need for reform of the taxation treatment of matters relating to remote working.

Revenue e-Brief No. 193/20 confirmed the updates to the TDM Part 05-02-13 – e-Working and Tax as set out below:

  • Paragraph 4 now clarifies that capital items such as laptops, computers, office equipment and office furniture purchased by an employee are not allowable deductions under section 114 TCA 1997;
  • Paragraph 5 includes concessionary treatment for broadband expenses incurred while working from home throughout the duration of the pandemic. Revenue is willing to accept that 30% of the cost of broadband, apportioned on the basis of the number of days worked from home over the year, may also be claimed as a deduction;
  • Paragraph 6 includes an example of the calculation of the allowable expenses;
  • Paragraph 7 provides for the new category of ‘Remote Working (e-Working) Expenses’ to be used by employees when making a claim on myAccount; and
  • Paragraph 9 clarifies that “in the current situation of Covid-19 where an employee is required to work at home full time for the duration of the pandemic, the normal place of work is the office.”

The Minister for Finance detailed in his Budget Day speech that an Inter-Departmental Group is working on a strategy for remote working and remote service delivery, as committed to in the Programme for Government. It is hoped that additional supports for remote workers, particularly in the current environment, will come from this.