New regulation! Smartphone and laptop properly deduct from tax

An innovation in the tax law will in future allow users to write off their hardware such as laptops, expensive smartphones and cameras in full in the year of purchase.

Purchased computers and programs for job or studies? Then you can deduct the cost of hardware and software from your taxes. According to the latest legislation, you can write them off in full in the first year. Depreciation over several years is therefore no longer necessary. This is stated in a letter from the Federal Ministry of Finance, to which Daniela Karbe-Geßler from the Taxpayers’ Association refers.

In the past, immediate depreciation in the year of acquisition was only possible if the purchase price did not exceed 800 euros net. For purchases of computers and the like, this limit has been waived since 2021, meaning that even high-priced hardware and software are no longer subject to the three-year depreciation in the tax. The tax savings will thus benefit employees as well as companies more quickly.

If certain hardware has already been written off via tax – i.e. if there is still a residual book value in the 2021 tax year for purchases made before December 31, 2020 – this can now be written off in full. The tax savings can thus be brought forward in time.

Save receipts for income tax return

Entrepreneurs can deduct the purchase of hardware and software from their taxes as business expenses. Employees who purchase a computer, smartphone, accessories or corresponding software on a work-related basis can declare the costs as income-related expenses on their income tax return. “Receipts for the purchases should therefore be kept,” says Karbe-Geßler. “Especially if the flat rate for income-related expenses of 1000 euros is exceeded.”

However, it is mandatory to include the assets in an inventory. This regulation also applies retroactively from January 1, 2021. The application of other depreciation methods for hardware and software, for example distribution over several years, is still possible in principle for tax purposes and is subject to the right of choice.

With material from dpa