Homeworking is on the rise, which is partly due to the recent pandemic. There are now many more people working at least one day per week from home. And that number is only going to grow as technology makes it easier for us to stay connected with our jobs from anywhere.
But while homeworking may have its benefits, it also comes with its own set of unique challenges. One of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to account for the cost of using the internet at home. We are, after all, incurring costs that would otherwise be those of our employer.
Employee Home Internet Cost Reimbursement has therefore become something important to know about so that we do not end up out of pocket. Yes, home working benefits us because we do not have to travel anywhere, but with electricity costs rising, we have to think more than ever about how much our internet usage, for example, is equating to in terms of its expense.
Difficulty Separating Use
Since most homeworkers rely on the internet to do their work, it can be difficult to separate work-related expenses from regular household expenses. And given that most companies don’t reimburse employees for those costs, it can be tough for homeworkers to get what they’re owed.
We might want to consult an employment lawyer on this issue and refer to our contract of employment. It cannot be considered fair that an employee who is benefitting their employer should end up the one paying for solely work-related internet usage. It is certainly something to discuss with an employer to see how they can help out financially. How someone is impacted will, of course, depend on the kind of internet contract that they have.
Claiming the Cost
Fortunately, homeworkers do have options for claiming back their internet costs. Most countries have regulations in place that allow homeworkers to claim a portion of their home internet bills as work expenses. Additionally, some companies may also offer homeworker expense reimbursements to employees who use the internet on behalf of the company.
It is important to know how your taxes are affected by the situation of home usage as this will make a difference too. Deductions play a big role in your taxable income, but figuring things out is easy with a tax calculator. Beyond that, there are plenty of tax professionals that can simplify the process even further.
Other Home Costs Associated with the Home Office
In addition to claiming internet costs, homeworkers may also be able to claim other home expenses associated with their home office setup. This could include home office furniture and equipment, as well as electricity and heating that are necessary for homeworking.
We have to decide if any costs would not be created if we were not at home. Some costs might exists whether we are there or not, which then cannot be claimed for. However, any use of office equipment that results in electricity charges will be extra.
If we work in the daytime, we should be okay with lighting, but at night putting the light on would be something to think about. If a spare room needs heating because we are in there then that is an expense we would not have ended up with had we not been using it as an office. If it occurs during working hours then it should be claimable. We have to take care not to overclaim, though, as tempting as it might be to do so.
Homeworkers can take steps to ensure that they’re getting reimbursed for work-related costs, including the cost of using the internet. With a bit of research and planning, homeworkers can make sure that they’re not losing out on money that was rightfully theirs in the first place. It is a case of homeworkers being aware of their rights and options when it comes to claiming. If legal help is needed then this is available to assist you.