Which expenses can be written off

Low-value asset (GWG)

What employees can deduct

While assets can normally only be depreciated over their useful life, separate tax rules apply to GWG. How these look in detail depends on when you bought the GWG. The useful lives are officially set in so-called depreciation tables. Depreciation stands for "deduction for wear and tear".

An overview of the tables is available on the website of the Ministry of Finance. Most consumers should be interested in the table for “general assets”. There you can find, for example, how many years you can write off your laptop, your new digital camera or your television set.

As an employee, you can deduct such GWG as income-related expenses from the tax that you need for your work. However, a GWG must always be able to be used independently in order to be recognized. For example, a pure printer or the monitor that you purchased together with a computer are not considered independent - because they cannot be used alone. Typical GWG are small pieces of furniture, desk chairs, dictation machines or software used for work.

If you can claim double housekeeping, then furnishings and household items are also included, for example a newly purchased bed or cupboards.

The assertion of low-value assets in the case of income from capital assets is not that easy. Because with the introduction of the withholding tax and lump sum for savers, the deduction of actual advertising costs for income from capital assets was excluded. The corresponding lines in Appendix KAP have been deleted.

If your actual income-related expenses, which are part of the GWG, exceed the saver lump sum of 801 euros for single people or 1,602 euros for married people, you can record the income-related expenses in a separate list. You can attach this as an individual attachment to the income tax return and apply for the deduction of the actual income-related expenses.

In contrast to the self-employed or company owners, with these types of income it does not matter when you purchased the corresponding low-value asset.

Here in the tax return

For work equipment that you use almost exclusively for business, you can deduct your acquisition costs up to a price of 800 euros without VAT - i.e. up to a total price of 952 euros (at 19 percent VAT) - directly from your taxable income.

In the second half of 2020, reduced sales tax rates of 16 and 5 percent will apply. Accordingly, the gross limit amount is reduced to 928 eurosif the work equipment is delivered to you by the end of 2020.

If you use half of a piece of work equipment, such as a computer, for work, then you can deduct 50 percent of the acquisition costs as advertising expenses.
Add up the individual items and enter them on the second page of Appendix N of your income tax return under the expenses for work equipment.

Since the 2017 tax return, you only have to submit receipts when the tax office asks you to do so. You can also proceed in the same way if you generate income from renting and leasing. In this case, you claim your LVA depreciation in line 35 of Appendix V.