You can get tax deductions for your electricity and phone bills if you are working from home

(PHOTO: Getty Images)

While some of us are back working in our offices, many of us are still working from home thanks to the coronavirus lockdowns ongoing here in Asia. 

With added expenses coming from running the air-con all day and having our computers and tablets and phones needed to be charged all day, our electricity bills will definitely be higher. 

Thankfully in Singapore, however, the government has agreed that we will be able to use these increased expenses as tax deductions next year.

“Tax deduction against employment income is allowable for expenses incurred wholly and exclusively in the production of employment income,” a spokesperson from Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore told The Business Times

These tax deductions can be used for phone and electricity bills that are not reimbursed by the employer. However, your broadband service costs won’t be able to be claimed unless you actually only subscribed after the Circuit Breaker period started. 

Also, the period available to claim the tax deductions is not limited to the CB period, as long as you are still being required to be working at home.

Since it is difficult to work out how much additional usage you have, and how much that costs, the IRAS will be accepting claims that are the difference in your bills from before and after CB. 

Also to help out, all Singaporean households will get a one-off $100 Solidarity Utilities Credit payment to assist with utility bills either in July or August as part of the Fortitude Budget announced on 26 May 2020, by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat. This $33 billion Supplementary Budget was designed to give help to households to cope with the recent economic upheaval.

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