Posted by Brian McCullough
Our worklife has invaded our homes… and the beach-head is called our home office.
Almost everyone I know has some sort of home office setup. And most new houses that are built (if any new houses are being built…) these days include a home office instead of a den/breakfast room.
I’m not an accountant or anything close, but even I know that the home office deduction is one of the most common deductions people forget about. It’s not just for telecommuters anymore (though officially working from home does help your case with the IRS).
Are you qualified for the home office deduction? How is the deduction calculated?
Wisebread has a quick summary post outlining all these things. Firstly, exclusive use as a home office is key:
If the workspace is used for both business and personal use, then it is not deductible. Furthermore, the space must be used on a regular basis for business purposes; a space that is used only a few times a year will not be considered a home office by the IRS, even if the space is not used for anything else.
Secondly, the necessity of working from home needs to be proven:
There cannot be an alternative location available, at least on a regular, continuous basis. Both employees and independent contractors may have to prove this to the IRS via expense receipts and/or documentation from their employers stating that there is no workplace provided to them outside their homes.
All things being equal, I would feel most comfortable consulting an accountant on this one. Read the entire article at WiseBread. They’ll walk you through it, but I think that Turbo tax might not be sufficient in this case.
Deduct Those Home Office Expenses (WiseBread)