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Double budgeting and its expenses

Tax definition – double household management?

If, in addition to one’s own household at the place of residence, a further dwelling is maintained at the place of employment, this regularly constitutes double housekeeping for tax purposes.
This means that necessary additional expenses, such as in particular the costs of the second home (e.g. depreciation, rent, ancillary costs) and a weekly trip home with the family, are tax deductible as income-related expenses or business expenses.

The Federal Fiscal Court takes a position on double housekeeping

In two decisions, the Federal Fiscal Court has commented on the tax consideration of further expenses in connection with double housekeeping:

  • In one case, the Federal Fiscal Court ruled that furnishings and household effects can generally be claimed in full as income-related expenses.
    These costs do not fall under the statutory maximum limit for the “use of accommodation” of 1,000 euros per month (see Section 9 (1) No. 5 EStG), as furniture and household items are only purchased for their use and not for the use of the accommodation.
    The use of the furnishings cannot be equated with the use of the accommodation as such. Corresponding expenses can therefore be taken into account for tax purposes in the form of depreciation or expenses for low-value assets, insofar as they are necessary – without limitation as to the amount. The maximum amount of 1,000 euros is not deducted; this amount is available for “pure” accommodation costs.


  • In another decision, the Federal Fiscal Court commented on the question of whether an early termination fee in connection with the sale of the second home at the place of employment can be taken into account as necessary additional expenses of a double household.
    In the case in question, an employee sold the second home he had previously used for work in connection with the termination of his employment at the place of employment; an early repayment penalty was incurred when repaying a loan used to finance the home.
    In the opinion of the court, the termination of the dual household and the sale of the apartment dissolved the original income connection with the income from employment and established a new – regularly non-taxable – income connection with the sale transaction. The court therefore ruled that the prepayment penalty cannot be claimed as income-related expenses in income from employment.