Until now, you usually had to declare the new PC in your tax return over a period of three years – and deduct it. But recently different rules apply.
The purchase of hardware and software pays off in terms of tax. Because the expenses can be deducted. In the past, the costs often had to be spread over the useful life, explains the Federal Association of Wage Tax Assistance Associations (BVL).
This is different now: With retroactive effect from January 1, 2021, computers, their components and software will be treated much more easily in terms of tax. “Such digital assets no longer have to be written off, but have a full tax effect in the year of acquisition,” says BVL managing director Erich Nöll.
Depreciation depending on the period of use
Previously, the depreciation period for computers, laptops, printers and scanners was three years. In plain language, this means that the costs could only be offset against tax over three years.
The useful life for such assets has now been set at one year. The distribution of the acquisition costs is only possible for assets whose normal useful life is longer than one year.
Set residual values in a last step
“The aim of the new regulation is to support companies and employees in relocating their work to the home office,” explains Nöll. There are no plans to limit this new immediate write-off option in terms of time or up to a certain amount.
The only requirement is that taxpayers have purchased the digital assets after December 31, 2020. For computers, printers, keyboards and software that were purchased before January 1, 2021, a so-called residual value depreciation applies.
“This means that the residual book values as of December 31, 2020 will be fully written off and taken into account for tax purposes in the 2021 assessment period,” explains Nöll. This applies regardless of how long the normal useful life would be.