I just have finalised a long audit from SARS and it has been a long and difficult process. Some where in the middle of it I have learnt a valuable lesson and I would like to share it with you.
As mentioned already you can claim a portion of all your home office expenses as tax deductible, however, as I have discovered, this is not always the preferable method. The moment you claim for office expenses there is a lot of extra documentation that SARS requires. You need to submit how large your house is, you need to submit how large your office is, you need to show proof of expenses and proof of payment, plus they automatically ask for bond statements etc. This can be really troublesome.
A much easier method is to simply claim it under Other Expenses.Of course you cannot put the whole house's electricity bill under other expenses, but if all you want to claim is your internet connection then definitely.
On top of having less paperwork to submit you can also claim the full amount. It seems that SARS automatically assumes that any cost claimed under office expenses can only be 4% of the total. Therefore don't claim your printing costs here, put it under Other Expenses.
Written by Mark Robson