Tax return 2021: tenants can also declare household-related services

Tax return 2021 This is how you can get money back on your taxes for household-related services

Indicate household-related services in the tax return Source: imago images

Household-related services can also be deducted from taxes in a similar way to craftsmen’s costs.

Image: imago images

When filing your tax return, it is possible to claim household-related services and get money back for them. Here’s what you need to bear in mind if you want to declare household-related services for tax purposes.

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Many taxpayers do not know what all they can deduct from tax and miss the chance to get a higher tax refund. For example, there is also money back for household services with the tax.

What are household-related services?

For the tax return and in tax law, all work that could in principle also be done by you or a member of your private household, but is done by a service provider commissioned by you, are considered household-related services. However, it should be noted that the work must have a "household character" and be performed on their own property or in the home.

What is the difference between household-related services and craftsmen’s work??

The big difference between household-related services and craftsman’s work is that craftsman’s services are always performed by trained professionals. In general, a distinction is made between three types of services in this area:

  • Marginal employment or employment subject to social security contributions in the household,
  • Household-related services and nursing and care services,
  • Craftsman services.

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Which household services can I declare??

The list of household-related services is long. Some examples of household-related services that you can indicate for tax reduction:

  • Cleaning apartment,
  • Cleaning windows,
  • Clean carpet,
  • Ironing laundry,
  • Janitor services,
  • Repairing damage to the house and garden,
  • Expenses for control such as the costs for the chimney sweep,
  • Costs for a move for private reasons,
  • Garden maintenance such as mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, weeding, felling trees,
  • Winter service and footpath cleaning,
  • Care, supply or care of sick or elderly people by outpatient nursing services, hand and foot care services,
  • Care lump sum for assisted living,
  • Expenses for an emergency call system in a senior citizens’ residence,
  • Preparing meals,
  • Care of children in own household,
  • Caring for and looking after pets on one’s own property.

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Can I deduct household-related services?

The expenses are relevant for tax purposes. Unlike professional expenses, for example, they are not deductible for tax purposes, however. The term "deducted" means that certain expenses are deducted from taxable income. Only the remaining amount is then subject to tax. With household-related services, just as with craftsmen’s costs, it is different. Here is a tax reduction. Part of the expenses is deducted directly from the tax payable, i.e. not from the taxable income but from the tax liability.

How many costs can be claimed for tax?

Similar to craftsmen’s costs, 20 percent of the labor costs for household-related services in private households can be claimed against tax. But in this case, the maximum amount that can be claimed for tax is 4000 euros, i.e. a maximum of 20.000 euros in expenses. This is defined by the Income Tax Act § 35a para. 1 EStG regulated.

What do I need to declare household services?

Certain conditions must be met for the tax office to recognize the household-related work. On the one hand, the work may not be paid for in cash, but there must be a proper invoice and the payment method must therefore be clearly verifiable.

The bill should cover a few items:

  • Name, address and tax number of the provider of the household-related service,
  • Beneficiary of the service,
  • Type and content of the service,
  • Service provision date,
  • Remuneration, if possible divided into wage and travel costs as well as material costs.

Who can claim household-related services?

Anyone who makes a tax return and has used household services can also claim them for tax purposes. The deadlines of the tax return, the percentage of 20 percent as well as the maximum amount of 4000 Euro must be observed. Just like owners and landlords, tenants can also declare household work for tax purposes.

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Can tenants also declare household-related services for tax purposes?

For a rented apartment or house, the landlord takes on many tasks, such as hiring a stairwell cleaner. Landlords then pass on the costs for this household-related service to the tenants via the annual operating costs statement. This is why tenants can also claim the costs of household services against tax. Among other things, tenants can declare the following household-related services:

  • Apartment cleaning,
  • Window cleaning,
  • Stairwell cleaning,
  • General caretaking,
  • Garden maintenance,
  • Winter service,
  • Meter reading.

In order for tenants to be able to report household-related work from the utility bill on their tax return, this work should be itemized on the bill. If these are not itemized, tenants should ask the landlord to do so.

Read also: Get fit in tax matters. Seven steps to basic tax knowledge

However, as a tenant, you need to keep in mind that not all utility bill expenses are eligible for this. As a tenant, you cannot declare the following service charges:

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