There has been some misinformation circulating in the last few days regarding payments for expenses relating to working from home. This seems to be relating to certain articles in the media. While the articles have had amendments published, unfortunately the initial incorrect message is still spreading and creating some confusion

The initial articles suggested that businesses could claim $15 per week from the IRD to pay to staff working from home. This is incorrect.

The misunderstanding stems from an IRD statement providing that where an employer chooses to reimburse employees for costs of working from home the IRD will accept $15 per week as a reasonable estimate of the costs. The payment of $15 can then be paid as a tax-free reimbursement to the employee and be claimed as a tax deduction to the employer. 

This is no different to when an employer reimburses an employee for say petrol when they are required to use a private vehicle for work related activity. The major change is that $15 will be accepted as an evidence free reasonable estimate.

It is important to note that the IRD statement in no way suggests employers should reimburse employees working from home. It just provides a low compliance method where they choose to do so.

If you are considering these options, please contact one of the team and they will be happy to discuss this with you.