As a rule, depreciation and interest on debt for a building or dwelling can only be claimed by the owner if the owner has also borne or financed the acquisition or construction costs.
If, for example, one spouse uses a study in an apartment purchased and financed jointly by both spouses solely for business or professional purposes (e.g. as a practice) free of charge, he or she can only take the depreciation and debt interest into account for tax purposes in proportion to his or her co-ownership share.
Until now, a special regulation applied if one spouse used a study in the joint apartment as an employee. In this case, the expenses attributable to the workroom (depreciation, interest on debt, running costs) could regularly be taken into account in full for the employee spouse – irrespective of the co-ownership share of the other spouse. It did not matter who actually bore the costs.
According to information from the tax authorities, this simplification rule will no longer apply from the 2018 assessment period. Accordingly, property-related expenses (depreciation, interest on debt, real estate tax, insurance premiums) can only (still) be claimed in proportion to the co-ownership share of the person using the study – i.e. only 50%, if applicable – even if the latter bears them exclusively alone. If the study is the sole property of the other (non-using) spouse, the corresponding costs cannot be deducted at all.
On the other hand, the pro rata amounts attributable to the study use-oriented Expenses (such as energy costs, renovation costs for the study, cleaning costs) are caused by the occupation of the spouse using the study and can then be deducted by him or her in full amount (if applicable, up to the amount of 1,250 euros per year) if they are paid from the latter’s account or from the joint bank account of the spouses.
These regulations apply accordingly if the study is located in a rented apartment; the cold rent is part of the property-related expenses. Accordingly, tax-reducing consideration of the basic rent is only possible if the employee is also a tenant.