Neustadt an der Weinstrasse – Anyone who is now preparing their tax return for 2022 should know the tax benefits that apply to them. What rules apply to the home office allowance, the increased commuter allowance and the mobility premium for low-income earners? The wage tax assistance association United wage tax assistance e. V. (VLH) shows what is important.
Home office flat rate 2022: This is how it is calculated
Originally, the home office flat rate was limited to the years 2020 and 2021. The federal government has now extended the lump sum for employees indefinitely and increased it from the 2023 tax return.
For the tax year 2022, however, the old, lower values still apply: up to 120 days are recognized at 5 euros per day. This results in a maximum of 600 euros per year.
Commuter allowance 2022: More money for longer distances
Employees can state part of their travel costs to work (“first place of work”) in their tax return: the tax office recognizes 30 cents per working day (on which they drive to work) and one-way kilometer, from the 21st kilometer it is since the assessment year 2022 even 38 cents (previously: 35 cents).
Anyone who drives to work in their own car can use the commuter flat rate (in tax German: distance flat rate) without limitation – as long as the calculated kilometers of the one-way route have actually been driven. For commuters who use other means of transport, a maximum of 4,500 euros per year in expenses for the journey between home and first place of work are recognized via the flat-rate travel allowance. However, the limit does not apply to proven ticket costs.
Example: An employee commutes 40 kilometers to work 220 days a year. For the 2022 assessment period, you can claim a total commuter allowance of 2,992 euros:
- 220 working days x 20 (kilometers) x 0.30 euros commuter flat rate = 1,320 euros as well
- 220 working days x 20 (kilometres) x €0.38 commuter flat rate = €1,672.
Mobility bonus 2022: Compensation for low earners with a longer commute to work
For people with a taxable income below the basic allowance, special rules apply to travel expenses. The basic allowance for the 2022 tax year is EUR 10,347 for singles and EUR 20,694 for married couples.
So-called low earners will receive (initially limited until 2026) a mobility premium of 14 percent of the distance allowance. This is when the employee lump sum is exceeded by the increased commuter lump sum together with the other income-related expenses – and would therefore also have a tax-reducing effect on other employees.
Simple example: An unmarried employee has an annual taxable income of 8,000 euros. This means that he is below the basic allowance and therefore does not have to pay income tax. As a result, he does not benefit from the increased commuter allowance. But because he drives 35 kilometers to work 200 days a year, he is still relieved – and receives a mobility bonus of almost 160 euros in total.
Important: Low earners are not required to file a tax return. In order to receive the mobility premium, however, they have to do it – and apply for the mobility premium.
The VLH: Germany’s largest income tax assistance association
The wage tax assistance association United wage tax assistance e. V. (VLH) is Germany’s largest income tax assistance association with more than a million members and around 3,000 advice centers nationwide. Founded in 1972, it also provides the most consultants certified according to DIN 77700.
The VLH prepares the income tax return for its members, applies for all tax reductions, checks the tax assessment notice and much more within the scope of the limited advisory authority according to § 4 No. 11 StBerG.