Deduct desk from tax

And how you can get subsidies from your employer, health insurance or pension insurance for your desk.

Séverine Dergham
Desk tax deduction and how you can get subsidies from employer, health insurance or pension insurance for your desk.

Ergonomic height-adjustable office furniture,

which includes height-adjustable gaming desks such as our LeetDesk, can be subsidized by some social security agencies under special circumstances. No special circumstances? No problem, because the money can often be recouped on your tax return. Find out how you can deduct your desk from your taxes here.

Important notice: This article refers to Germany only - although similar concepts of getting financial support for your desk might exist in your country!

Desk tax deduction.

The easiest and (always successful) way to get money refunded is to have your desk tax deducted. You can claim up to 800 euros net for your height adjustable desk. In order to deduct your home office desk from tax, the following condition must be met:

  • The desk must be used as a "work desk" or for professional purposes. The chances are then higher that the tax office will accept the claim.
  • The "professional" use of the table should account for at least 10% of the total use. Tip: If you use the table more than 90% professionally, you can deduct the purchase costs completely.

All costs incurred for the purchase can be entered in your tax return as income-related expenses in Appendix N. In addition to the purchase costs, you can also include the costs for repairs, cleaning and maintenance in your tax return. There is a predefined lump sum of 110 euros for this, for which you generally do not need any proof. If the purchase value of the table is a maximum of 800 Euros net (i.e. approx. 952 Euros gross), you can even deduct the entire repair price of the table from your tax return.

Repairs, cleaning and maintenance

In addition to the purchase costs, you can also include the costs for repairs, cleaning and maintenance in your tax return. There is a predefined lump sum of 110 euros for this, for which you generally do not need any proof.

If the purchase value of the table is a maximum of 800 Euros net (i.e. approx. 952 Euros gross), you can even deduct the entire repair price of the table from your tax return.

Drop repairs pays off | Credit: Unsplash / Steve Johnson
Drop repairs pays off | Credit: Unsplash / Steve Johnson

Desk is more expensive than 800 euros net?

If the desk cost more than 800 euros net, you cannot immediately deduct the costs. In this case, you must take into account the legally prescribed useful life of 13 years for office furniture. The costs are therefore spread over 13 years, i.e. you can write off 1/13 of the expenditure per year. Depreciation is called "Absetzung für Abnutzung" (AfA) in tax office German.

For more tips, you can also visit: https://www.finanztip.de/arbeitsmittel/.

Allowance in case of illness or disability
Height adjustable desks over 800€ cost are depreciated differently | Credit: LeetDesk

Allowance in case of illness or disability.

Attention. It is important to note that all necessary applications must first be submitted and approved before deciding to purchase the furniture. It is not possible to get the subsidy after the fact.

In recent years, studies have shown that ergonomic office furniture has significantly improved the health of users. This is a significant improvement in the quality of life of the consumer. If you need an ergonomic or height-adjustable desk for health reasons, various cost units provide a subsidy. You can find out which ones in this article.

One thing in advance: since 2018, a subsidy of a height-adjustable desk can only be applied for under special circumstances.

Subsidy from the employer for height-adjustable desks.

The health insurance and the pension insurance give the employer the duty to provide ergonomic work equipment (among other things office furniture). In general, however, the employer can resort to less expensive means (such as a height-adjustable desk attachment). According to the German Pension Insurance, the employer must ensure that applicable occupational health and safety legislation is complied with.

There must already be a chronic illness (e.g., a back condition) for the employer to be made to cover the cost of a height-adjustable desk. The situation is different if the employee has been unable to work for more than 42 calendar days in the past twelve calendar months due to the complaints. In these cases, a so-called company integration management takes place in which the company doctor, the affected person, the superiors and, if available, the works council discuss the future course of action and possible solutions.

In order for the employer to cover the costs of the table, you must present a medical certificate. Your first point of contact should therefore be either the company doctor or the family doctor.

Height-adjustable desks can be subsidized by employers Credit: Unsplash / Olena Sergienko
Height-adjustable desks can be subsidized by employers Credit: Unsplash / Olena Sergienko

Subsidy from the employment agency for height-adjustable desks.

Cost subsidy through "Leistungen zur Teilhabe am Arbeitsleben".

Benefits for participation in working life, or LTA for short, are aimed at people with mental or physical disabilities. The LTA is intended to enable those affected to start, improve or restore work. Height-adjustable tables fall into the category of "technical work aids.

Services for participation in working life are provided by various rehabilitation agencies. In order to apply for an LTA, you first need a medical certificate, a cost estimate from the table manufacturer (or the price) and a completed application form. You can find the form on the page of the respective rehabilitation provider. If it is determined that you need an ergonomically height-adjustable table due to your health situation, then it is possible that the Employment Agency or another rehabilitation provider (e.g. the Employer's Liability Insurance Association or the Integration Office) will cover the costs.

The Employment Agency will cover the costs if you have not yet been employed for 15 years and are required to pay contributions.

If, for example, the table offers a cutout that also benefits wheelchair users, the pension insurance may cover the costs | Credit: LeetDesk
If, for example, the table offers a cutout that also benefits wheelchair users, the pension insurance may cover the costs | Credit: LeetDesk

Pension insurance subsidy for height-adjustable desks.

The rehabilitation agencies, such as the German Pension Insurance, refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Act. As already mentioned, the employer is primarily responsible for the ergonomic equipment of the workplace. For this reason, there is, for example, no obligation to pay benefits on the part of the pension insurance when it comes to height-adjustable desks.

The pension insurance covers the costs if it is a matter of disability-related individual equipment of the workplace, which goes beyond the obligation of the employer.

Health insurance subsidy for height-adjustable desks

As a rule, health insurance funds also provide benefits for participation in working life (LTA). However, they are not legally obligated to cover the applications or costs, so the health insurance company should be the last point of contact for the cost subsidy. To do this, you should contact your health insurance company and ask for the LTA application.

Overview of health insurance subsidies

  • AOK: To website
  • Barmer: To website
  • DAK: To website
  • IKK: To website
  • KKH: To website
  • TK: To website

Allowance for accidents at work or on the way to work

If you need a height-adjustable table because you have suffered an accident at work or on the way to work, the statutory accident insurance institutions or employers' liability insurance associations are responsible for covering the costs.

Subsidy by aid organizations

Cost subsidy through "Leistungen zur Teilhabe am Arbeitsleben".In certain cases, the Integration Office or even the public youth welfare agency will also cover the cost of a height-adjustable table.

Does this also work for gaming desks?

Overall, we can say that there are several ways to get a grant for a height-adjustable table. Office chairs are generally subsidized more and better than desks. Health insurance subsidies for standing desks are unfortunately no longer as common. You can easily apply for a subsidy for office chairs at your health insurance company.

👉 Tip: If you don't receive a subsidy, you can still deduct your desk from your taxes.

As long as you specify your gaming desk as an "ergonomic height-adjustable desk", these points also apply to gaming desks | Credit: LeetDesk
As long as you specify your gaming desk as an "ergonomic height-adjustable desk", these points also apply to gaming desks | Credit: LeetDesk

Achtung ⚠️

Wenn du dich für einen höhenverstellbaren Gaming Schreibtisch entschieden hast, solltest du ihn nicht direkt als “Gaming Schreibtisch” beschreiben oder angeben, sondern als “ergonomischer höhenverstellbarer Tisch”. Dadurch erhöht sich die Chance auf die Bewilligung eines Zuschusses.

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