Where an employee works for substantial periods outside of the employer’s premises by using technology to log onto the employer’s computer remotely, sends or receives email remotely or develops products or services remotely, then this may be referred to as “e-working”. “E-working” employees includes those who:
- Work from home on a full or part-time basis
- Work from home some of the time and work the remainder in the office
- Work while on the move with occasional visits to the employer’s premises
Employees who, in the normal course of their employment, bring some work home in the evenings or at weekends, are not regarded as “e-working” employees.
Employers may provide the following tax-free to its e-working employees to enable them to work off-site:
- Computers, laptops
- Printers and scanners
- Provision of a telephone line, broadband etc
- Certain office furniture
To qualify for the tax free treatment, the provision for these items must be for business use with any private use by the employee being merely incidental.
In addition, employers can also make tax free payments of up to €3.20 per day against costs incurred by the employee in the performance of their employment duties, such as heating and electricity. Alternatively, specific expenses claim may also be made by the employee where the actual expenditure is in excess of this amount.
In Revenue’s recently updated guidance (TDM 05-01-06, published August 2019), Revenue confirm that under no circumstances may expenses of travelling between an individual’s home and place of work be reimbursed tax-free. Similarly, subsistence expenses for periods spent in an individual’s home may not be paid without deduction of tax.