If you live in a second home at the place of work of your company for professional reasons , you can deduct the expenses without restriction. However, the officials check the receipts very carefully, as large amounts often come together. The duration of your double housekeeping does not matter. The meal allowances and the cost of accommodation are limited deductible as with employees.
When entertaining customers or business partners , 70 percent of the costs are deductible as business expenses. There are also various templates for hospitality receipts online that you can adapt and use for your purposes.
In order to carry out your business activity, certain materials and other work equipment are essential. Work equipment is declared as such by the responsible tax office if you can conclusively explain to the authority why exactly this work equipment is necessary to do your job. That is the overriding criterion for recognition. However, you can claim not only material goods, but also immaterial ones. On the one hand, this can be your website, on the other hand, a mobile phone contract or various software can be recognized as work equipment.
Contributions to professional associations
If you have to pay contributions to certain lobby groups in your industry, you can also claim these as income-related expenses for tax purposes. This group includes associations such as the Chamber of Crafts, the Bar Association, the Medical Association, etc. In this context, considerable membership fees or financial expenses for legal advice and litigation are often incurred. Here too, however, there must be a coherent connection between the respective association and its own activities in order to ensure deductibility.
Also what the insurance companies are concerned, considerable costs are, depending on the industry, towards you. But here, too, you can successfully use the red pencil to allocate some of these contributions to the tax or to claim them as income-related expenses. Of course, the prerequisite for deductibility in this case is that the respective insurance must cover the purely operational risk. This criterion is mostly met by the following insurance companies, for example.
- Company bad debt insurance
- Company legal protection insurance
- Business failure insurance
- Insurance for company cars
- Company liability insurance
As a freelancer, can you deduct advertising expenses?
The distinction between freelancers and the self-employed continues to cause misunderstandings.
In this case, however, freelancers can claim the business expenses (similar to the income-related expenses for employees) for tax purposes just like all other self-employed. For certain professional groups among the freelancers, a so-called operating expenses allowance is even an option. The actual costs do not have to be proven here. This sub-category includes all activities that are carried out in an artistic, literary or scientific way as a secondary occupation.
How high can income-related expenses be in the tax return?
As an employee , i.e. if you are not self- employed , you can apply various flat rates, which we will explain in more detail in the next section. As a freelancer, you can either deduct a flat rate for business expenses (this is only possible for some professional groups) or state your expenses in the actual amount that exceeds the flat rate.
How much is the flat rate for advertising expenses?
What can you do to save taxes when you have hardly incurred any advertising expenses? There is also a practical solution for this: the flat-rate for advertising expenses . This is 1,000 euros per year and will be used if you cannot prove higher advertising costs.
There is a special extra when it comes to income-related expenses for married couples. The lump sum is also due if a person is below the value of 1,000 euros.
An example: the husband has income-related expenses of 800 euros, but his wife has 1,500 euros. While she can claim the full 1,500 euros, her husband not only receives the 800 euros, but the lump sum of 1,000 euros. A small, fine advantage that is definitely worth it.
Married couples therefore benefit from the tax advantage , as this is applied per person.
When do you need proof of income-related expenses?
If you only want to set a flat rate, for example because you only had low advertising costs, you do not need to enclose any receipts . However, if your expenses are higher than the lump sum, you must present all receipts as evidence.
Flat rate deductions for advertising expenses
If you do not include proof of your exact costs in your tax return, the tax office will automatically recognize a flat rate. This so-called employee lump sum is around 1,000 euros, for pensioners the flat rate is 102 euros. For work equipment, even without receipt, an amount of 110 euros for work equipment and 16 euros for your account management is recognized.