Home Office – Which Spouse can Deduct?

Is it possible for two tax payers living together to share not only an apartment and not only the joint home office but also deduct these costs from their income to save taxes?


Jack works as an employee and next to this work, he serves on call for the district's office for psychologically ill persons. He receives overtime benefits and is reimbursed for his traveling costs. He and his female mate share the joint office at home and both deducted the costs of this den from their income. Since the tax office did not want to accept it, they took it to court. Finally, the Federal Tax Court (judgments of 15 December 2016, re VI 86/13 and VI R 53/12) decided on this query.

BFH held that the plaintiffs were entitled to deduct the costs because they meet the requirements for this deduction. If more than one person wants to deduct the costs of one and the same room, it is permissible to do so. However, they have to meet the requirements individually. Only if the tax payer can show that the room is being used exclusively or almost exclusively for business or professional purposes, can that person deduct the costs of a home office. Further, it is regardless if these persons are spouses, an unmarried couple or otherwise tenants of the room.

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Primer on how to Deduct Costs for a Home Office