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Deducting gardeners from tax - is that possible?

Deducting gardeners from tax - is that possible?

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Is it too expensive for you to have your own gardener who brings the hedge and lawn into shape? If you tackle it correctly, you can deduct these costs from the tax.

Pay gardeners and get money back from the Treasury?

Those who can relax in their own home after work and at the weekend have fulfilled a dream. After all, the house with a garden - preferably in the green - is still at the top of the wish list for many families. And so you save for years, take out a loan for building money and invest a lot of time in designing your own four walls.

If the homeowner has been able to buy a larger piece of land for the home, creating a garden with lots of greenery, flowers and shady trees is an obvious step. Before you can really feel comfortable in your own park, a lot of time passes. And at least as much effort has to be invested in maintaining the personal green space. Work in the garden begins with the first rays of sun in spring.

Setting new bulbs, removing withered green from last year, pruning trees and the first cut of lawn - gardening takes a lot of time. If you have to take care of the children's upbringing in addition to your job, you will quickly face a real obstacle. Theoretically, the garden owner could hand over the work to a landscape maintenance company - a gardener. But: many households shy away from these costs. In tax law, there is the possibility of involving the tax authorities in garden maintenance. What do the regulations look like in detail? And what requirements does the garden have to meet?

Prerequisites for tax validity

Basically, the gardener falls into the area of ​​artisan services. According to Section 35a (3) of the Income Tax Act (Income Tax Act), these may be claimed in the income tax return to reduce tax. However, not in unlimited amounts - and only if certain conditions are met.

For example, the law regulates the Income Tax Act that expenditure does not:

  • Business edition still
  • Advertising costs

may be. This means that a gardener's approach as a handicraft service in the tax return for rented real estate is no longer applicable. Especially freelancers and the self-employed who have set up an office in their own home have to bring a lot of sense of proportion here. In the case of rented real estate, the gardener can under certain circumstances be charged at advertising costs.

In addition, the principle applies that only:

  • renovation
  • Conservation and
  • modernization

have a tax-reducing effect. Anyone who has the gardener recreate the garden must bear the costs themselves. But the fact is that the border runs smoothly. For example, the erection of a retaining wall in the existing garden can meet the stated circumstances - which would make the costs deductible.

➤ Coal back - only with invoice

An important aspect concerns invoicing or payment. According to, taxpayers must be aware that only properly crafted invoices are recognized by the tax offices - if these have been paid by bank transfer. Anyone hiring a gardener should point this out in advance.

Since only labor and wage costs or the use of machines can be taken into account, but material costs have no influence on the tax deduction, the invoice must be designed accordingly.

Deducting gardener costs - how much is allowed?

Gardener costs may not be tax deductible in any amount

The fact that the landscape guardian's bill can be deducted from tax is certainly positive news. Unfortunately, the legislator does not allow unlimited tax deduction in the framework conditions of the EStG. Rather, there are strict regulations regarding the maximum limits for craftsman services in accordance with Section 35a of the Income Tax Act.

Unfortunately, anyone who presents his tax office with an annual statement of 10,000 euros is unlucky. Only sums up to a maximum of 6,000 euros are recognized as the assessment basis. Of these, 20 percent reduce taxes - i.e. 1,200 euros. But: According to, the craftsman service can be combined with the deduction of other household-related expenses.

For example, Section 35a of the Income Tax Act provides in paragraph 1 for the deduction of costs that result from household-related employment. The condition is that it is designed as marginal employment. A maximum deduction of 20 percent of the effort - up to a maximum of 510 euros - would be conceivable here. This means that costs of up to € 2,550 can also be accommodated in the income tax return.

What else is there to consider?

If you want to deduct the gardener's work from tax, you must ensure that correct invoices are issued and that they are not simply paid in cash.

Are there other hurdles and obstacles that lead to nasty surprises? Questions and delays in processing the tax return often arise from errors in completing the forms.

➤ Small control trick

It is by no means a mistake to rely on the support of appropriate software. If the forms are nevertheless completed by hand, the totals of the individual invoices must be added together and the VAT included.

If the maximum limit of 1,200 euros has already been exhausted for a year, affected households can take advantage of a principle of the tax authorities. It is not the date of the invoice that is decisive. Whether the gardener's bill will have an impact on income tax next year only depends on the time of payment. Against this background, bills that accrue for garden maintenance towards the end of the year can be postponed to the coming year.

Have the gardener paid by the tax office

A well-tended garden is an oasis in summer that people are only too happy to retreat to. However, it sometimes takes years for the green around your home to be the ideal. And even then the garden needs maintenance. If you have these activities carried out by a specialist company, you have to dig a little deeper into your wallet, but the legislature grants these households a deduction of artisan services from income tax.

With 20 percent - based on the assessment base of 6,000 euros - the deduction is not necessarily generous. Nevertheless, the gardener can help reduce the tax burden. And in this way it also ensures lush greenery around your own four walls.

However, every homeowner who wants to conjure up this “joker” from their sleeves must follow a clear line when asked about billing with or without a bill. Tax offices only recognize craftsman services if they are available - and have been transferred.